Flotilla attack a war crime – Craig Corrie

The MV Rachel Corrie, a cargo ship named for the American activist who was killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003, is one of the ships continuing to carry humanitarian aid toward Gaza in a challenge to the Israeli blockade.

Israel has already stopped ships carrying aid on their way to Gaza by using military force and boarding ships in international waters.

Rachel Corrie traveled to Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement in 2003 and was attempting to stop Israeli defense forces from demolishing Palestinian homes when she was killed by an Israeli bulldozer.

Craig Corrie, the father of Rachel Corrie, said he is shocked at what has occurred thus far.

It seems like a war crime to me. We need to find the facts out. We need to find the facts not from the Israeli government, but from the people who were on that ship,” said Corrie.

The MV Rachel Corrie has not yet reached the area where the previous ships were engaged by Israeli forces. Corrie is hopeful the ship will make it to Gaza, but said there is still “more to come.”

The United States has blocked a resolution by Turkey before the UN and remains firm in its support of Israel.

I think you have to condemn the actions of the Israelis when they board with gunfire a ship we know is in international water. That seems like a crime to me, and incarcerating those people, killing people – that’s a crime. I’m shocked that the United States seems to pretend that Israel can do an investigation of itself,” said Corrie.

Citing the failure of the Israeli government to investigate the death of Rachel Corrie in the past, despite promising a thorough, transparent and open investigation, Corrie said he does not understand why the US government thinks Israel is capable of investigating its own actions.

Corrie said he believes an independent and unbiased international investigation is possible through the UN and that it has to be done and that further attention needs to be given to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

The US has expressed concern over ending the Israeli blockade of Gaza because of fear of an expanded arms trade in the Middle East.

I think the United States ought to, with its own ships, take humanitarian aid into Gaza and end this siege and they can guarantee that there will be no weapons there going in with their ships,” said Corrie.

Corrie continued, “The weapons that are now going to the Middle East are coming from the United States to Israel and they obviously now are being used on unarmed civilians in ways that are contrary to United States law. I think our administration has to look at that law and see whether in fact we can continue to send arms to Israel because it is in contradiction to several United States laws.

As protests rage across the US, Corrie hopes the US government will soon be unable to ignore the flotilla attack and the situation in Gaza.

Israel continues to maintain that it reacted only after being provoked and threatened by those onboard the flotilla. The individuals onboard said they were attacked without cause by the Israeli military.

“I can find no evidence of them [Israel] being provoked. This was at high seas. They have no right to go aboard a ship at high seas. Their siege of Gaza is both ill-conceived and illegal. So, there’s not a provocation in that sense. They have with our daughter’s case they tried to paint that as somehow self defense and in this case they are trying top paint it as self defense. We need to hear from the people that were onboard those ships,” said Corrie.