Irish flotilla activists accuse Israel of sabotage

A ship from the 2010 flotilla

A ship from the 2010 flotilla

Irish Palestine campaigners have accused "agents of Israel" of damaging a ship they planned to send to Gaza.

According to the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the ship, the MV Saoirse, had been "sabotaged". It accuses "agents of Israel" of the "extensive" damage but does not provide any evidence to back up the claim or detail the alleged damage.

The statement said: "This is an unacceptable act of aggression against an Irish vessel (which is sovereign Irish territory), against the Freedom Flotilla, and most importantly against the people of Palestine which this flotilla was intending to reach in an act of humanitarian solidarity."

Campaigners have called for a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in Ireland and have said they intend to shut it down.

"This act of sabotage against a peaceful humanitarian civil society mission (which has been paid for by thousands of ordinary Irish people) must be protested in the strongest terms possible," it said.

The organisation claimed yesterday that the ship's departure had been delayed due to "tremendous pressure by the government of Israel".

    Last updated: 8:32am, July 1 2011