Third 'Gaza Freedom Flotilla' sets sail from Greece
CRETE, Greece - Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe third "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" has left Greece's Crete Island and is expected to come close to the shores of Gaza within four days, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition said in an official statement June 27.
Human rights activists from all over the world are aboard the flotilla, who have been joined by an Arab member of the Israeli parliament, Basel Ghattas, and Tunisia's former president Mohamed al-Moncef al-Marzouki.
More than three boats are part of the flotilla with more than 50 crew members and passengers from about 20 countries.
"As a human being and an Israeli citizen, I do not want to stay silent over Israel's human rights violations," Zohar Chamberlain Regev, a member of the organization committee of the flotilla, told Anadolu Agency June 27.
Regev said that the flotilla was aimed at "giving Palestinians the right to move freely without being exposed to any restriction of the illegal Israeli occupation."
The coalition said its aim was not to act against Israel but against its occupation and added that it would not be needed had governments around the world reacted to the Israeli government's acts against Palestinians.
"We want to reach Gaza. This is the only way to show the people of Gaza that we are in solidarity with them," Regev said.
The Third Freedom Flotilla has made several stops on its way to Gaza, in Greece, Spain and France.
Boats from the Canadian Boat to Gaza, Greece Ship to Gaza, Freedom Flotilla Italia, Norway Ship to Gaza, South Africa Palestine Solidarity Alliance, Spain Rumbo a Gaza and Turkey's Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) are part of the third attempt.
Turkey’s relations have been tense with Israel since nine Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other pro-Palestinian activists were wounded when Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010. Another person of Turkish nationality died in a hospital in 2014 after being in coma for almost four years.
The boat was part of the first "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" that was trying to break the ongoing blockade on Gaza. The relationship between the two countries has worsened since then, with both sides withdrawing their ambassadors and reducing their diplomatic representation in each other’s capitals.