A Swedish trawler which has departed for Gaza to challenge Israel’s siege on the impoverished Palestinian territory sails on undeterred by Tel Aviv’s warnings.
The fishing trawler “Marianne of Gothenburg” left on the nearly-5,000-nautical-mile journey from Gothenburg, Sweden on May 10. It carries solar panels and medical equipment, Danish and Norwegian members of Parliament as well as other well-known Scandinavian activists, artists, and academics.
The vessel, leading the Freedom Flotilla III, has arrived in the harbor of Copenhagen, citizen journalism website and photo agency Demotix reported on Thursday.
The campaign is a new effort to break Israel’s eight-year embargo on the enclave.
On Monday, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon called the action “an unnecessary provocation,” adding that Tel Aviv would not allow what he called unauthorized boats to enter Palestinian waters.
Back in May 2010, Israeli army commandoes stormed the Freedom Flotilla II off the coast of Gaza. At least 10 American-Turkish activists lost their lives in the attack. Some 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy were also injured in the attack on the flotilla, which had set sail from Turkey to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, which is a situation that has caused a drastic decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The people of Gaza are also grappling with repercussions of Israel’s devastating offensive last summer, which left some 2,200 people dead and demolished buildings and structures.