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Maskey welcomes home Gaza Aid ship crew

1 July, 2011 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster

Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey has welcomed home two members of the crew of the MV Saoirse, who were participating in the Gaza aid flotilla. The MV Saoirse was interfered with and the propeller damaged in what appears to be sabotage forcing its crew to abandon the ship and redistribute medical aid and building materials amongst the rest of the flotilla.

Speaking today Mr Maskey said:

“The MV Saoirse was forced to abandon its voyage as part of the Gaza Aid Flotilla due to what appears to be an act of sabotage on the propeller of the ship.

“This was a very serious incident given that if the ship had taken to the water it may have sank with the possible loss of life.

“I will be pressing the Irish Government, as this was an Irish registered vessel, to investigate this incident and seek the relevant answers for the Israeli government.

“I wish those who are still bound for Gaza all the best. They are committed to bring much needed aid to the people of Gaza. Fortunately the much needed medical aid and building materials needed in Gaza that the ship was carrying was redistributed amongst the flotilla and several crew members also joined other crews ensuring Irish participation in the flotilla.

“It is an extremely brave thing to do given the murderous actions of Israeli forces when they boarded the Mavi Marmara last year when the first flotilla attempted to enter Gaza and despite the circumstances we are happy to see the two crew members from West Belfast home again.

“The international community must bring whatever pressure to bear on Israel to lift their illegal blockade on Gaza. This aid flotilla must be allowed through." ENDS

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