Activists planning new Gaza flotilla
The Ship to Gaza movement has announced that it is planning to send another flotilla to deliver humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.
Ship to Gaza Sweden spokesman Dror Feiler said that if Israel does not lift the siege of Gaza, the movement will make a new attempt to reach the impoverished Palestinian territory before the end of 2010.
“We will go (again) before the end of this year and we are quite sure that this flotilla will be more boats, bigger boats, it will be several passenger boats,” AFP quoted Feiler as saying after a meeting of the group in Stockholm on Wednesday.
“And as determined before, we will not accept Israeli control, we will not accept Israeli inspections and we will go to Gaza,” said the Israeli-born Swedish activist, who was on board one of the ships of the original Freedom Flotilla during its attempt to break the three-year blockade of Gaza last spring.
The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the Turkish-flagged M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.
They also forced the ships to dock at an Israeli port and detained all those on board.
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition has called on the international community to support the new aid flotilla and has issued a statement saying it plans to enlarge the coalition “to include the various groups around the world that want to join us, as well as intensify our efforts to mobilize a new flotilla.”
“We hope that Israel and the international community will realize it is not possible to stop this and that it is not acceptable to continue with the siege,” Feiler stated.
“We are buying boats, we are getting a lot of funds to get more boats,” Feiler said, adding that the Ship to Gaza movement has grown and now enjoys support across the world, especially in France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, the United States, and Canada.
Ship to Gaza Sweden did not announce an exact date for the trip because of boat purchasing and licensing issues and the need to take the vagaries of the weather into consideration.