In a ruling issued by the Supreme Court of Israel, under the presidency of Miriam Naor, the state of Israel is ordered to immediately release and return the vessel ”Estelle” to its owners, the Swedish human rights organisation Ship to Gaza. The ship was boarded and seized by IDF in the fall 2012 during an attempt to break the inhumane blockade of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
The Finnish flagged S/V Estelle departed from Sweden in early summer of 2012. It visited ports in the Baltic, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean before it was attacked by Israeli military, 30 naval miles outside the coast of Gaza.
The Supreme Court ruled that the state should have immediately asked the court for the confiscation of the ship and shouldn’t have waited for ten months. The state did not conduct negotiations with the owner of the ship, did not respond to appeals by the owners and did not inform the owners about its intentions.
According to the ruling the state of Israel is required to pay the court costs of Ship to Gaza Sweden at the amount of 40000 NIS (approx 10500 USD). Ship to Gaza Sweden will via their Israeli lawyers bring their claims against the state of Israel.
Freedom Flotilla Coalition is right now planning a new action to break and abolish the devastating blockade of Gaza: Women’s Boat to Gaza will set sail in the middle of September.