RENOWNED British rock musician Roger Waters has condemned the Israeli navy’s move to detain a boat carrying pro-Palestine women activists – including a Malaysian doctor – that had reportedly tried to break the government blockade of the Gaza Strip to deliver aid to besieged Palestinians.
Water’s took to social media to express solidarity for the Women of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, saying he and fellow Pink Floyd bandmates David Gilmour and Nick Mason deplored their “illegal arrest and detention in international waters by the Israeli Defense Force.”
“Pink Floyd reunites to stand with the Women of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” he said on his Facebook account on Thursday.
The posting gained immediate traction on social media, and was shared by almost 2,000 fans within three hours of going live.
In a statement Wednesday, the military said naval forces stopped the boat in international waters and urged it to change course. When it refused, the navy says it stopped the boat and searched it. It said the search was “uneventful.”
The boat is sponsored by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, a group of pro-Palestinian groups based mostly in Europe. The Dutch-flagged boat, named Zaytouna-Olive, is carrying 13 female activists from different countries headed by Mairead Maguire, an Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
In 2010, Israel raided a Turkish-led flotilla bound for Gaza, killing 10 Turks.
On of the activists on board the boat is Malaysian medical practitioner Dr. Fauziah Mohd Hasan, from a non-governmental organisation Humanitarian Care Malaysia (MyCARE).
According to the New Straits Times, Fauziah was serving as the physician for the mission.
The Malaysian newspaper reported that the Foreign Affairs Ministry is working towards Fauziah’s early release.
The ship carrying the humanitarian aid mission was reportedly towed the the port of Ashdod.
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) October 5, 2016
In a statement, the ministry said it is currently monitoring developments surrounding the boat’s detention.
“Currently, the ministry is in communication and contact with several parties to ensure the safety and well-being of the Malaysian involved in the incident,” it said today.
Water’s has a been a vocal critic of Israel over the issue of Palestinian rights on occupied territory and has been dubbed anti-Semitic due to his support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel since its inception 10 years ago.
Earlier this year, Water’s told the Independent that Americans who supported the campaign were terrified to speak out for fear their careers will be destroyed.
“The only response to BDS is that it is anti-Semitic,” he was quoted as saying by the Independent in February. “I know this because I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite for the past 10 years.
“My industry has been particularly recalcitrant in even raising a voice [against Israel]. There’s me and Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Manic Street Preachers, one or two others, but there’s nobody in the United States where I live. I’ve talked to a lot of them, and they are scared s***less”.
Additional reporting from the Associated Press