Despite all odds, with scrambled radio, jammed phones, a seasick passenger, a seasick journalist on a media boat seeking them out stubbornly, in rough waves with a storm brewing, phone calls tripling or quadrupling up (sorry to all whom I've cut off), I hear that 20 boats left Gaza Harbour to welcome FREE GAZA and LIBERTY, but are now doing a U-turn to go back.. As indeed the media boat, now back in harbour.
Estimated time of arrival according to Jeff Halper, with whom I finally managed to speak on a satellite phone whose number wasn't published and is now used in emergency, is 5 pm - 7 pm. Palestinians in Gaza said earlier there was NO ISRAELI NAVAL PRESENCE on the horizon, but the U-turn was apparently due to warning shots having indeed been fired.
I received a phone call from Gaza: it's obvious there's a demonstration there, with extreme excitement. It gave one goosebumps, feeling freedom beginning to flow.
The media boat was not far from the FREE GAZA and LIBERTY, but relayed co-ordinates (they couldn't make contact with each other) show that for the FREE GAZA and LIBERTY to have met the press, the two boats would have had to turn round: inadvisable, if they're to make land in daylight.
If the radio had been working. If the satellite phones were unjammed. These are regrets, but the fact is that the boats are now about to turn into Gazan waters, and may God speed them safe to land.
Please alert your correspondents in Gaza to cover the arrival. insha'allah it will take place. How they then get out? -- Chapter Two of this ongoing saga. Online talkbacks wish them to stay in Gaza and join the freedom fight, where they belong! The online words far more explicit.. as is the hate mail. (And so the oppressor is oppressed.) But maybe today freedom and justice will warm a few Palestinian hearts. The Free Gaza Movement will be in great danger of too many cups of tea. And of being swamped by the 200,000 people whom, we're told, will be on the beach to welcome them. And the Israeli Government must now be on warning that yes, indeed, the World cares. That civil society has a voice. And that voice is saying NO. Human beings have sacred rights, and people are ready to defend them, wherever they may be. Even in the prison that is Gaza.
Free Gaza Movement