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Nobel Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire accuses Israel of ‘slow genocide’

Published 08/06/2010

Mairead Maguire with aid ship the MV Rachel Corrie
Mairead Maguire with aid ship the MV Rachel Corrie
Irish activist Shane Dillon arrives back at Dublin Airport after he was deported from Israel following a commando raid on the Gaza aid flotilla
Irish activist Shane Dillon arrives back at Dublin Airport after he was deported from Israel following a commando raid on the Gaza aid flotilla
Irish activist Shane Dillon arrives back at Dublin Airport after he was deported from Israel following a commando raid on the Gaza aid flotilla
Ibrahim Musaji's mother Fatima (left) and sister is Farhara are interviewed at their home in Gloucester, after Ibrahim was believed to be amongst those that were taking part in the aid flotilla attacked by Israelis
Nobel peace prize winner Mairead Maguire standing beside the Cargo ship the MV Rachel Corrie 12/05/10
Demonstrators gather in front of the White House to protest against US funding of Israel in Lafayette Park June 1, 2010 in Washington, DC
Peter Venner was seized by Israeli authorities
Demonstrators gather in front of the White House to protest against U.S. funding of Israel in Lafayette Park June 1, 2010 in Washington, DC
Pakistani protesters who try to reach the US Consulate, confront police officers during a rally denouncing Israel's raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators hold a Turkish national flag and shout anti-Israel slogans during a protest in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Tuesday, June, 1, 2010
Egyptian activists clash with riot police during a protest against the Israeli naval operation storming a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip
A protester hangs on a lamp outside Belfast City Hall
Gerry Adams with protesters outside Belfast City Hall
Deputy First Minister Minister Martin McGuinness who joined several hundred people in Derry's Guild Hall Square in protest at the raid on the aid flotilla which was travelling to Gaza
Some of the several hundred people in Derry's Guild Hall Square in protest at the raid on the aid flotilla which was travelling to Gaza
A protester hangs on a lamp outside Belfasat City Hall
Protesters outside Belfast City Hall
Protesters outside Belfast City Hall
Protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Pro-Palestianian campaigners in Whitehall, London
Pro-Palestianian campaigners in Whitehall, London
Protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Actor Adrian Dunbar (right) joins protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Protestors gather outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin
A large crowd of protesters stand at the entrance to Kensington Palace Green and the Israeli Embassy
An Hasidic Jew, a group who traditionally do not agree with Israel's action against Palestine, reads scripture during a campaign in Whitehall, London
Pro-Palestianian campaigners in Whitehall, London
Turkish women shout anti-Israeli slogans during a protest in front of the UN house in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, May 31, 2010
Israeli Navy soldiers prepare to intercept several boats
Protesters burn a Star of David during a demonstration outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, Monday, May 31, 2010
Israelis attend a demonstration in support of Israel following a deadly raid by the Israel military on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza
A border policeman looks on as Israeli left-wing protesters demonstrate against Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010 in Tel Aviv, Israel
Israeli left-wing protesters demonstrate against Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010
Israeli left-wing protesters demonstrate against Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010 in Tel Aviv, Israel
Israeli left-wing protesters demonstrate against Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010
Israeli left-wing protesters demonstrate against Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010
Israeli Navy soldiers intercept several boats headed towards the Gaza Strip
Israeli Navy soldiers prepare to approach and board as they intercept several boats headed towards the Gaza Strip
Israeli Navy soldier stands behind a machine gun aboard a missile ship while Israeli Navy soldiers intercept several boats headed towards the Gaza Strip
An Israeli soldier carries a blood-stained stretcher back to an Israeli army helicopter
View from aboard an Israeli Naval vessel
Israeli Navy soldiers approaches a Navy missile ship
Israeli medics rush an injured man for treatment at the Rambam hospital in the northern Israeli city of Haifa
A Turkish man seen next to a sign in Turkish that reads "down with Israel" and "Free Gaza" as Pro-Palestinian Turks nearby shout slogans during a protest against Israel near the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul
Protesters burn a Star of David during a demonstration outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, Monday, May 31, 2010
Israeli and foreign left-wing protestors hold placards against Israeli policies during a protest against Israeli naval commandos raid on a flotilla
Protesters clash with police officers outside the Israeli embassy in Athens, Monday, May 31, 2010
Israeli police detain a masked Arab Israeli protester during clashes in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm, Monday, May 31, 2010
A protester cries during a demonstration at Taksim square in Istanbul, Monday, May 31, 2010
Turkish and international activists seen on the deck of a Turkish ship shortly before Israeli forces boarded the vessel carrying humanitarian aid bound for the blockaded Gaza strip, late Sunday, May 30, 2010
Israeli police detain a masked Arab Israeli protester, center, as an Israeli journalist tries to interview him, during clashes in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm, Monday, May 31, 2010
Israeli left-wing protesters demonstrate against Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010
Israeli left-wing protesters demonstrate against Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010
Israelis attend a demonstration in support of Israel following a deadly raid by the Israel military on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza
Israelis attend a demonstration in support of Israel following a deadly raid by the Israel military on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza
Israelis attend a demonstration in support of Israel following a deadly raid by the Israel military on an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza
Israelis wearing snorkels attend a demonstration in support of Israel
Israeli Navy Intercepts peace boats bound for Gaza
Israeli Navy soldiers aboard a boat as the Israeli Navy intercepts peace boats bound for Gaza on May 31, 2010
Israeli Navy soldiers prepare to disembark a missile ship as the Israeli Navy intercepts peace boats bound for Gaza on May 31, 2010
This video image released by the Turkish Aid group IHH Monday May 31, 2010 purports to show an injured passenger on a Turkish ship, part of an aid convoy heading to the Gaza Strip
Image released by the Turkish Aid group IHH Monday May 31, 2010 purports to show Israeli soldiers aboard a military vessel in international waters off the Gaza
This video image released by the Turkish Aid group IHH Monday May 31, 2010 purports to show Israeli soldiers aiming a gun on the deck of a Turkish ship, part of an aid convoy heading to the Gaza Strip
Palestinian Islamic Jihad supporters hold Turkish flags as they ride on their motorcycles during a protest in Gaza City, Monday, May 31, 2010.
Palestinians ride boats in Gaza waters as a flotilla of aid ships leaves for the blockaded territory (AP)
Israeli Navy sailors embark on the I.N.S. Hanit in order to stop a flotilla of activists attempting to deliver aid to Gaza in spite of Israel's blockade May 30, 2010 in Haifa, Israel
Israeli Navy sailors embark on a warship in order to stop a flotilla of activists attempting to deliver aid to Gaza in spite of Israel's blockade May 30, 2010 in Haifa, Israel
Pro-Palestinian activists demonstrate a day before the expected arrival of a flotilla of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists carrying 10,000 tons of supplies into the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Friday May 28, 2010
Palestinian members of the Hamas naval police and civilian defense officers ride a boat at Gaza port during a display of their preparations ahead of the expected arrival of a flotilla of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists trying to sail into the Gaza Strip, in Gaza city, Friday, May 28

Irish Nobel peace prize winner, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, whose ship was blocked from delivering aid supplies to Gaza has accused the Israeli government of committing “slow genocide” against the Palestinian people.

The Nobel Laureate was deported with fellow campaigners from the MV Rachel Corrie after the vessel was seized by the Israelis as it attempted to break the blockade of Gaza.

After landing in Dublin with four other Irish crew members, Mrs Corrigan Maguire pledged to return to the war-torn territory and renew her efforts to help those who live there.

“Gaza has been cut off from the world for over three years. The people of Gaza don't have enough basic things for their needs,” she said.

“It's Israeli policies that are causing this — there is a slow genocide of the Palestinian people.”

There were emotional scenes at Dublin Airport as the group were reunited with family and friends. Mrs Maguire said efforts to end the blockade must now be stepped up.

“US President Barack Obama has the power to say to the Israeli government, ‘enough is enough, your policy is not acceptable and you must choose peace'.”

Also returning home were former UN assistant secretary-general Denis Halliday, the ship’s captain Derek Graham, his wife Jenny, and Dundalk film-maker Fiona Thompson.

Mr Graham claimed the vessel's navigation equipment was jammed before Israeli soldiers boarded.

Fellow crew member Ms Thompson revealed she managed to save several tapes containing footage of the moments prior to the vessel being boarded on Saturday morning — despite having her camera confiscated.

Meanwhile, activists said another aid flotilla could be making its way to Gaza within weeks.

Rory Byrne, of the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, said the umbrella group — representing around 34 human rights organisations — had received a massive response from volunteers and donors in the wake of last week's attack on a Turkish aid ship, during which nine peace activists were shot dead by Israeli soldiers

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