One of ships taking part in sail
Photo: AFP
Gaza aid sail postponed till Saturday
Flotilla organizers decide to delay sail towards Strip due to technical problem in one of vessels. Greta Berlin of Free Gaza Movement says boats to leave meeting point on Saturday morning in order to avoid Navy raid at night. After expressing doubts over report, IDF says prepared for ships' arrival at any time

The flotilla heading to Gaza with humanitarian aid has postponed its departure towards the Strip till Saturday, its organizers said Friday evening.


Some of the ships taking part in the sail have already arrived at the meeting point in the Mediterranean Sea, while others are still making their way to the area.


At first, Israel Defense Forces officials expressed their doubts over the report, but later realized that the sail had indeed been postponed and reduced the state of alert. The army clarified, however, that Navy vessels would be prepared to greet the ships as early as Friday night.


Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement told Ynet that the delay was caused due to a technical problem in one of the smaller ships taking part in the sail.


"We were forced to move 25 people to a larger Turkish ships, and that led to a two-hour delay," she said. "Moving eight ships in a coordinated manner without any mishaps is complicated and nearly impossible."


Berlin explained that in light of the delay, the organizers decided to stop the sail and leave from the meeting point on Saturday morning, in order to avoid entering Israel's territorial waters at night.


"We know what happened the last time we did that," said Berlin, referring to an incident which took place on December 2008, when the IDF seized the Dignity yacht. "The Israeli Navy attacked us in international waters before sunrise, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) off shore."


Berlin added that the organizers changed the location of the ships' meeting point on Friday, after receiving information that the Israeli Navy planned to intercept the boars in high seas. She refused to reveal the location of the new meeting point, saying that "We won't make life easy for Israel."


First published: 28.05.10, 19:12
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