Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Second Gaza Aid Flotilla to Sail Late June,
Including Activists from 40 Countries
36 Americans to join June Gaza flotilla
[ 21/06/2011 - 05:16 PM ]
NEW YORK, (PIC)--
36 U.S. rights activists announced they will set sail to the Gaza Strip
on board the sequel of an aid flotilla that was lethally attacked by Israeli
naval forces in May 2010.
They said at a Monday press conference in
New York that they would take part on the Audacity of Hope ship, one of the
fifteen slated to join the international aid flotilla. The ship was named
after U.S. President Barack Obama’s best-selling book.
said they understand the risks involved as Israel has issued repeated
official threats that it would use military force to thwart the flotilla.
A friend close to Obama helped initiate the ship in July of last year.
At the time, he announced it would carry $370,000 worth of humanitarian aid
to the besieged Gaza Strip.
In May 2010, Israeli commandos seized
the first “Freedom Flotilla” as it neared the Gaza Strip in defiance of the
inhumane siege affecting 1.5 million Gazans, and they killed nine activists
and injured many more on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship.
once strong diplomatic ties with Turkey had spiraled downward since the
The sequel Gaza flotilla is scheduled to set sail this
week despite Israel’s unwavering threats of violence.
Members of the
European Parliament, other legislators from Europe, and hundreds of peace
activists, politicians, legal experts, and media from some 40 countries
worldwide are set to join the flotilla.
In a statement released by
the European campaign to end the siege on Gaza, activists coordinating the
ships have revealed that they have taken an oath among themselves to stand
firm against a likely Israeli attack, and they said that this time around
Israeli forces would have a “difficult task” trying to contain the ships.
“[The activists] will not use violence at all, but they will work so
that taking over the ships would not be an easy matter,” the ECESG said
quoting the coordinator of the ship from Ireland.
“If they try to
seize the ships, we will disrupt their advances without violence, and we
will not make the takeover easy,” the source said. “We will not reach out
our hands to them, and we will not use physical measures against them, but
we will secure the ships and make it difficult to control them,” he said,
without going into details.
The ECESG confirmed that the flotilla
would set sail at its scheduled day of departure without delays, as had been
spread by media sources.
Meanwhile, high-level Israeli political
sources say Netanyahu’s government has gained more and more interest in
getting past the diplomatic crisis with Turkey that ensued the 2010 flotilla
attack and wants to repair the once strong ties.
But Israel insists
on refusing to meet the conditions Turkey set on restoring ties with it,
demands that include an official apology for the bloodshed that took place
during the military seizure of the ships on international waters. Israeli
Radio said the country has also refused to pay compensation to the families
of those killed, as was also conditioned.
The Israeli foreign
ministry has confirmed the accuracy of reports by Haaretz that secret
contacts have been made between Turkey and Israel in an effort to improve
broken relations and ease tensions.
Turkey has repeatedly confirmed
that it would stick to its conditions before ties could be repaired and has
rejected offers Israel has made to diplomatically bypass those conditions.