The NUJ is calling on the Israeli navy to strop threatening an unarmed aid ship which has journalists on board – including a documentary film maker from London.
The boat – called Spirit of Humanity - set off from Cyprus yesterday with medical supplies, children's toys, and reconstruction kits for besieged Palestinians in Gaza.
People on board say that early this morning Israeli warships surrounded the civilian craft and threatened to open fire if it did not turn around.
NUJ member Fathi Jaouadi, aged 37, from Edgware is on the boat filming the trip.
There is also a news crew from Al Jazeera TV.
Fathi’s pregnant wife Renee, aged 34, also a freelance journalist and NUJ member said: “I am deeply concerned for the safety of all the passengers on board.
“This is an unarmed civilian boat that has been surrounded and threatened.”
Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said: “This boat received security clearance from the authorities in Cyprus. It is outrageous that the Israeli navy should confront it and put the lives of everyone on board in danger.
“Fathi and the other journalists on board are just doing their jobs reporting on a story that is of interest to the whole world.”
The ship has a crew of 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and journalists from 11 different countries - including Nobel peace prize winner Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
Reports from the ship say that the Israeli forces have jammed their instrumentation, blocking their GPS, radar, and navigation systems.
This is the Free Gaza Movement’s eighth sea mission, successfully arriving in Gaza on five occasions. They say that on two earlier occasions Israeli forces stopped the ships – ramming one in December 2008.