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Palestine
Women and other global activists preparing aid missions to Gaza
Women and other global activists preparing aid missions to Gaza
Arab and foreign activists, including an aid ship operated by women from Lebanon, are scheduled to set sail to the Gaza Strip to break the siege on the enclave now blockaded for more than three years,
Tuesday, June 15,2010 23:39
PIC&Ikhwanweb

Arab and foreign activists, including an aid ship operated by women from Lebanon, are scheduled to set sail to the Gaza Strip to break the siege on the enclave now blockaded for more than three years, despite Israel's request to the European Union to prevent all ships on missions to break the siege from European ports.

Preparatory committee coordinator for the Lebanese women's ship, "Mariam", Samar Hajj, said in a phone call with Agence France Presse today that the initiative for the ship started from very ordinary women, who are firm believers that the siege must be broken.

She noted that the Free Palestine movement represented by chairman, Yasser Qochloq, secured the ship and all logistic support.  She indicated that the number of women on board has reached fifty, thirty of them Lebanese, and twenty foreigners.

The commercial cargo boat will transport drugs for Palestinians suffering from cancer, the rate of which has risen in Gaza, according to Hajj, after the war Israel launched against the Strip at the end of 2008.

The AFP also reported from sources from the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza that Freedom Flotilla II, which will include more vessels and carry more passengers than the first freedom flotilla, is expected to set sail following the conclusion of the World Cup.  According to the campaign, the majority of those who signed up to participate on the aid mission ship are European citizens, noting that government officials from Europe have expressed strong interest in participating in missions to break the siege on the Gaza Strip.

However, according to Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot, Israeli authorities have been contacting the EU states and other international authorities, demanding that they do not allow Freedom Flotilla 2 or other aid ships headed for Gaza to depart from their ports.  They also demand that European citizens are prevented from participating in the missions, claiming that they "seek to work against the interests of Israel."

The e-version of the newspaper reported that Israeli naval forces are preparing to block the arrival of ten new aid vessels in pursuit of breaking the siege on Gaza.  A ship bearing the name Naji Al-Ali from Lebanon along with two other ships belonging to the Iranian Red Crescent are scheduled to arrive in Gaza in the coming days.

tags: Gaza / Siege / France / Palestine / European Campaign / Freedom Flotilla / Gaza Strip / Palestinians / Hebrew / Lebanon
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