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Freedom Flotilla adamant on reaching Gaza

18 May 2010 12:50

MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, has said that the Freedom Flotilla is adamant on breaking the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and going ahead in its sea voyage to the besieged enclave.

Khudari said, in a press release at a late hour on Monday, that the Israeli foreign ministry’s decision to block the flotilla from reaching Gaza was an attempt to pressure the solidarity activists into backing away from their participation in the relief convoy.

“Israel is in a fix and is confused on how to deal with the solidarity boats”, the MP said, adding that the international alliance of 40 European, Islamic, and Arab countries is insisting on carrying the relief material to Gaza.

He said that blocking the ships would be in violation of the international law and would be viewed as “piracy”.

Khudari said that Israel should rather consider ending its unethical siege of the Strip and opening its border crossings.

He underlined that the first ship had left Ireland after concluding all legal and official procedures, noting that the ship was insured at international insurance companies.

The Israeli foreign ministry announced on Monday night that the Freedom Flotilla would not be allowed to reach the Gaza coast with the relief material it was carrying in a clear and rude challenge to hundreds of world activists who are to accompany the flotilla of nine vessels.

Israel warned a number of European states that it would not permit “leftist-organizations” planning to sail to the Gaza Strip with international aid to complete their mission.

The director of European affairs for the Israeli foreign ministry, Naor Gilon, met separately with envoys from Turkey, Greece, Ireland and Sweden to convey the message that any of their citizens intending to set sail for Gaza would be stopped before they could reach the coastal territory.

Describing such mission as “provocative and in violation of Israeli law”, Gilon told the diplomats: “Israel has no intention of allowing these sailboats in Gaza.”

The foreign ministry’s message essentially entails that anybody who tries to sail to Gaza with aid, or who tries to transfer goods into the Hamas-ruled territory, must do so in accordance with procedure.

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