January 3, 2011
Two warships with Israel’s Navy are reportedly chasing a vessel from Asia 1, an Asia-sourced Gaza-bound aid ship in international waters.
The ship, named Salam, is allegedly carrying tons of medical and food supplies for the Tel Aviv-blockaded Gaza Strip as well as eight human rights activists as part of the sizeable relief mission, which is also known as Asia to Gaza Solidarity Caravan.
The Israeli forces have contacted the ship’s captain, demanding the names of the activists, who are reportedly from Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.
The activists say they want to display solidarity with the Palestinian people in their resistance against Israel.
Tel Aviv has been enforcing an all-out land, aerial and naval blockade on the 1.5 million Palestinians in the enclave since mid-June 2007.
Salam left the port of Latakia in the northwest of Syria for the northeastern Egyptian port of el-Arish on Saturday, defying the prospects of an Israeli assault.
Israel’s military, killed nine Turkish activists aboard Freedom Flotilla, an Ankara-backed humanitarian convoy, on May 31.
The Asian convoy, which is joined by activists of 18 different nationalities, has traveled through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Lebanon. It was forced to remain in Syria for a week, awaiting Cairo’s authorization to dock at its port.
A seven-member delegation of Iranian lawmakers joined the mission while it was in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
In this regard, an Indian activist on the mission told Press TV last month, “We are completely non-violent. We do not have weapons.”
In case of an attack, “We will face it with non-violence. We’ll face it with a prayer in our hearts,” he added.