Foreign Activists to Launch Flotilla from Gaza to Europe

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Canadian and European activists are planning to launch a flotilla from the Gaza Strip to Europe to break the Israeli naval blockade imposed on the strip, Yediot Ahranot Israelii newspaper reported Tuesday.

Charlie Anderson, a Swedish activist who was on board the Gaza-bound Estelle last year, said because Israel has banned the entry of ships into Gaza, the group was planning to break the Israeli naval blockade in a different and peaceful way by launching a flotilla that will carry Gazan produce and textiles from the strip to Europe.

He told Yediot Ahranot that the flotilla, which is currently a fishing boat, is being converted to a cargo ship and is set to sail in September. Adding, the activists were not concerned that the Israeli Navy would stop the boat.

“If it does,” Anderson said, “it will find it very difficult to explain to the world why it’s stopping a Gaza cargo ship carrying civilian products meant for Europe.”

“This is a civilian, independent project, whose aim is to raise public awareness to the issue of Gaza’s maritime blockade and the activists have no intention of confronting with the Navy in case it tries to stop the shift,” said Mahfouz Havriti, one of the Palestinian organizers in the project while stressing that Gaza’s Hamas government has nothing to do with the project.

For his part, the IOF Spokesperson said that Israeli Occupation Forces aim to pursuing its mission to secure Israeli borders, including Israel’s naval border.

(Source / 10.07.2013)

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