'Israel taking advantage of Greece's economic situation'

After 'Tahrir' ship intercepted by Greek coast guard, Jewish-Canadian activist says Athens operating in Israel's favor due to financial pressure.

July 5, 2011 10:06
2 minute read.
Canadian boat Tahrir [file]

Canadian boat Tahrir flotilla_311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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An activist aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla on Tuesday claimed that Israel has taken advantage of the economic situation in Greece in an attempt to prevent vessels from departing to the Strip.

Jewish-Canadian Dylan Kenner told Army Radio that Greece is operating in Israel's favor as a result of economic pressure Jerusalem placed on Athens due to the current financial crisis in the country.

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The Canadian ship Tahrir was stopped on Monday, five kilometers from its anchoring point in Greece. Kenner explained that the Greek coast guard intercepted the ship fifteen minutes after it departed. Authorities boarded the ship and towed it back to Cyprus. Kenner claimed that the move was a clear act of trespassing which the Greeks had no right to carry out.

The Israeli government, using economic exploitation, pressured the government of Athens to widen the illegal blockade of Gaza to Greek ports, Kenner explained.

Kenner said that the broadening of the Gaza blockade has begun to affect human rights of those living outside of the Strip. This is something that should worry Israelis, Canadians and people from all over the world, he told Army Radio.

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Kenner maintained that the interception was unjustified. The activists made their non-violent intention clear from the beginning, he explained. He added that a number of activists tried to block the Greeks but did not use violence. The interception was a clear violation of activist's rights even though no one was injured, Kenner said.

The incident was the second time in three days Greek authorities have intercepted vessels headed for Gaza.

A spokeswoman at the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv said that Greek commandos boarded the Tahrir shortly after it set sail, just as they did Friday in stopping an American vessel that was taking part in the Gaza-bound flotilla. When the passengers on Monday refused to identify the captain of the ship, all 50 of them were taken into custody, she said.

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