Rachel Corrie was a young American peace activist who was killed in 2003 in Gaza while working with the International Solidarity Movement. As Corrie stood in front of a Palestinian home to protect it from being demolished by Israeli forces, she was run over by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer and killed. Corrie has become, for many, a symbol of peace, with over 30 songs, a cantata, a play, and now a ship, named after her.
The ship, called the MV Rachel Corrie, set sail from Ireland carrying 11 passengers and 9 crew members from 5 countries, mostly Ireland and Malaysia. Included amongst the passengers were Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, Parit Member of the Malaysian Parliament Mohd Nizar Zakaria, and former UN Assistant Secretary General, Denis Halliday.
As the MV Rachel Corrie neared Gaza, however, it became apparent that Israel was going to once again prevent the ship from delivering aid and thus breaking the siege. At approximately 10:00 UTC+3, US-based Remroum reported that Israel had asked the ship to change its course:
Gaza Under Siege tweeted a video
from Iranian-backed Press TV, which aired shortly after the MV Rachel Corrie was stopped by the IDF. The video, which includes commentary from journalists on the ground, shows the ship being intercepted:
Efe Moral, who is based in Turkey, live-tweeted much of the Flotilla events and noted that after the ship was intercepted, the aid would be taken to Gaza:
Reports have also emerged that Israeli forces have refused to call the ship by its registered name, the MV Rachel Corrie, and have instead referred to it as “Linda,” its previous name. The Rachel Corrie Foundation tweeted this:
A video put forth by the IDF confirms this (00:31):
There is considerable anger regarding the fact that the MV Rachel Corrie was intercepted, but also a sense of relief that the passengers are safe. Lastly, as journalist Hossam el-Hamalawy points out on Twitter, Rachel Corrie herself has been immortalized with the MV Rachel Corrie's mission: