Protesters to test Gaza sea blockade

By
May 24, 2010 03:57

Ships carrying 10,000 tons of construction material and humanitarian aid will attempt to sail from Turkey to Gaza on Sunday.

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A ship protesting the Gaza blockade

GazaProtestFlotilla311. (photo credit: .)

Nine international aid ships set sail for Gaza from Turkey on Sunday. The IDF has said that it will prevent them from reaching the Strip.

The ships aim to break the blockade and anchor at the Gaza port – which has recently undergone expansion work – on Thursday.

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The vessels will carry hundreds of activists and about 10,000 tons of construction material, medical equipment and school supplies. Two ships, including one named for International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed in Gaza in 2003, sailed from Ireland to Cyprus where they will join the other seven and sail to Gaza on Thursday.

The Israel Navy has two options. It can turn them away and prevent them from docking in Gaza, or board them and sail them to the nearby Ashdod Port.

As three of the eight ships in the “Freedom Flotilla” headed for Gaza left Istanbul, the head of the United Nation’s Relief and Works Agency in the Gaza Strip, John Ging of Ireland, voiced support for the initiative.

“We recommend the world send ships to the shores of Gaza, and we believe that Israel would not stop these vessels, because the sea is open,” Ging said.

“Many human rights organizations have been successful in previous similar steps, and proved that breaking the siege on Gaza is possible,” he said.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.


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