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Photo: AFP
Feiler's installation in Stockholm
Photo: AFP
The Marmara. Another on the way?
Photo: Dudi Cohen
Ex-Israeli warns another flotilla in works
Dror Feiler says additional flotilla will be bigger than first, will not agree to Israeli checks on board

The organizers of the Freedom Flotilla to the Gaza Strip in May announced Wednesday after a meeting in Stockholm that they intend to send another flotilla to the Strip by the end of the year.

 

"We will send another flotilla if the blockade on Gaza is not lifted," Dror Feiler, spokesman for the Swedish branch of the pro-Palestinian organization Ship to Gaza, told AFP.

 

"We'll set off before the end of 2010 and we are sure the flotilla will be bigger with more vessels," he added. "We will not agree to Israeli checks and barriers."

 

Feiler (59) is a former Israeli artist and musician who moved to Sweden in the 70s. In January 2004 he made the headlines after exhibiting an installation in a Stockholm museum. The installation, entitled Snow White and the Madness of Truth, was comprised of a pool of water colored to look like blood, on which floated a small boat labeled "Snow White" bearing a picture of Hanadi Jaradat, who carried out a suicide attack on the Maxim restaurant in Haifa in 2003.

 

Israel's ambassador to Sweden at the time, Zvi Mazel, was invited to the opening and destroyed the installation in fury, sparking a diplomatic furor.

 

Feiler also took part in the flotilla to Gaza in May which included the Marmara, on which nine activists where killed when Israeli soldiers took control of the vessel. Feiler was lightly wounded.

 

The Turkel commission is still investigating the events and commission members, including the foreign observers, met Wednesday after looking into the IDF's Eiland report.

 

Another investigative committee, one of three looking into the flotilla events, continues to cause an uproar. President of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva Sihasak Phuangketkeow rejected claims that there was no need for the committee the Council nominated because of Israel's agreement to cooperate with the UN secretary-general's committee. However, Sihasak called on Israel to cooperate with both committees.

 

He said there was a clear distinction between the aims and mandate given to the two committees, and hoped Israel would take an effective and active part in the investigations because the committee's aim was not to condemn Israel.

 

According to Phuangketkeow, committee members would try to get to the Middle East to interview those involved in the flotilla events despite Israel's declaration that it would not cooperate.

 

The more important committee, that set up by the UN secretary-general and headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer has won the support of Israel and Turkey, and will receive the report from the Turkel commission, which is investigating the events independently.

 

The committee will include outgoing Columbian President Alvaro Uribe as well as an Israeli and a Turkish representative. Both committees are expected to publish their findings next month.

 

The declared aims of the Geneva committee is to ascertain whether Israel violated international law or human rights, while the New York committee will concentrate on fact-finding and the implications of the flotilla affair as well as recommendations to prevent a similar occurrence.

 

 

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