Three ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists left Turkey on Saturday en route to Gaza's shore, as part of a flotilla organized by the Free Gaza Movement – meant to draw supporters from all over the world to the Strip.
The nine-ship convoy will attempt to dock in Gaza. The project is partly funded by IHH –a Turkish pro-Palestinian organization that had one of its members arrested in Israel recently.
The last of three vessels left Istanbul Saturday and was making its way to Greece, where the organizers said a few hundred activists were waiting to board it. The participants will bring with them some 10,000 tons of various products for the residents of the Strip.
One of the ships slated to arrive from Ireland is named after Rachel Corrie, a left-wing activist who was trampled to death by an IDF bulldozer in Rafah. Recently, a Ramallah street was also named after the late activist.
The ship, currently docked in Portugal, is carrying cement – a product that was banned from entering Gaza according to a decision made by Israel
as part of its blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory.
In a conversation with Ynet, Free Gaza Movement Chairperson Greta Berlin said that several European parliament members are expected to join the flotilla to Gaza.
Berlin explained that the movement began its activities four years ago, in an effort to draw international attention to what was taking place in the Gaza Strip – so that people will "wake up" and stop the siege.
Berlin added that although the IDF thwarted the last three attempts to reach Gaza by sea, the Israeli authorities were aware of the negative image they were creating, and that this time it would lead to far-reaching diplomatic consequences.