Categorized | Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza

Activists Set Sail for Gaza on New Freedom Flotilla


Gaza New Freedom Flotilla

Some 70 activists have boarded the three ships to Gaza to bring relief to those living in “the world’s largest open-air prison,” said the coalition.

Activists from over 20 countries set sail Friday for the Gaza Strip, where they will attempt to break Israel’s siege of the Palestinian territory.

At least three ships have set sail under the banner Freedom Flotilla III, just five years after a similar mission ended in bloodshed, when Israeli troops boarded one of the ships as they neared the Gaza coast. Nine activists were killed and dozens injured in the raid.

“We are sailing because we promised we would until the blockade is lifted,” Loukas Stamellos, spokesperson for the global Freedom Flotilla Coalition, told Common Dreams before they departed.

According to a statement released by the coalition Thursday, their goal is “to highlight the violation of the rights of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the world’s largest open-air prison.”

“Freedom Flotilla III is invited by Palestinians in Gaza,” to bring relief to “the thousands that were left heavily wounded, homeless, jobless, and displaced after recent Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip,” read the coalition’s statement.

The most recent war in Gaza was in the summer of 2014, when 2,134 Palestinians were killed – most of whom were civilians and many of whom were children – and some 100,000 Gazans left homeless. Seventy-three Israelis were also killed, most of whom were soldiers.

RELATED: ‘Open Fire Everywhere’: Israeli Soldiers Describe Gaza War

Some 70 people embarked the ships from all over Greece before setting off to the Palestinian territory. According to the coalition, the flotilla is a joint effort by numerous campaigns around the world, including: Spain, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Canada, Italy, the United States, among others.

Among the activists is Arab Israeli lawmaker Basel Ghattas, which has touched a nerve with other members of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Other prominent political figures on the boats include former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki and Spanish EU parliamentarian Ana Maria Miranda Paza.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, said the ministry had been working “through diplomatic channels night and day” to prevent the flotilla from reaching what she considers to be Israeli waters outside of Gaza.

The flotilla is “the work of provocateurs whose aim is to blacken Israel’s face,” added Hotovely.

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