US Gaza flotilla boat is 'about to set sail'

'Audacity of Hope' organizers say passengers will resist Greek efforts to prevent their departure; earlier, spokesperson said trip was delayed.

July 1, 2011 16:36
2 minute read.
Pro-Palestinian flotilla activists

Flotilla protest Greece 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Organizers of the US boat participating in the flotilla to Gaza said Friday afternoon that their boat, The Audacity of Hope, will attempt to leave the Greek harbor where is docked, despite attempts by Greek authorities to prevent their departure, they said through the organization's Twitter feed.

Passengers, organizers said, were preparing to "non-violently resist any efforts to stop the boat," saying moments later that the boat "is about to set sail."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

PM: Israel fully entitled to stop 'arms-smuggling flotilla'
'Hamas leader is brain behind Dutch flotilla'

Earlier Friday, a spokesperson for the larger flotilla effort said that the ships would set sail next week after repeated delays that activists blame on Israeli sabotage.

"Israel is doing its very, very best to make sure we don't get out of port," spokeswoman Greta Berlin said, speaking by telephone from Greece where some of the ships are moored.

"We want to move the boats by July 5 to get to our rendezvous point no later than July 6 or 7 ... We will go with what we have," she added.

The small flotilla, including boats from the United States, France and Canada, was due to leave at least a week ago, but the departure has been constantly put back amidst allegations of a dirty tricks campaign to stop the pro-Palestinian initiative.

Israel says its blockade of Gaza is aimed at stopping weapons from reaching the enclave's rulers, Hamas -- an Islamist group which is branded a terrorist organization by the West.

Palestinians and their supporters say the naval closure is illegal and constitutes collective punishment for Gaza's 1.5 million residents.

Irish activists accused Israel on Thursday of sabotaging their boat in Turkey by damaging the propeller shaft, stopping it from sailing to Gaza.

Berlin said the Greek authorities had not yet allowed a U.S. boat, "The Audacity of Hope", to leave the port of Piraeus.

"The Greeks are cooperating with Israel as much as they can," she said, adding that nine boats were now hoping to take part in the mission, compared with original plans for up to 15 ships.

Israel has denounced the flotilla as a provocation, but has denied allegations it sabotaged both the Irish boat and a Swedish vessel, which also reported propeller damage after berthing in a Greek port earlier in the week.

  Israel has urged foreign governments not to let the second convoy get under way. In a speech on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked allies, including Greece, for taking steps to block the activists.

"I want to thank many leaders in the world for speaking and acting recently against the provocative flotilla," he said. "Israel has the full right to act against the efforts to facilitate rockets-smuggling to Hamas's terror enclave."

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town