'Rachel Corrie' at Ashdod Port
The Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara ship and the Irish-owned Rachel Corrie ship are not alone: Two non-governmental Lebanese organizations announced Saturday that the plan to send an aid vessel of their own to the Gaza Strip as early as next weekend.
In a press conference in Beirut, the Free Palestine Movement and Reporters without Borders organization announced that the ship, which will be carrying humanitarian aid, will include passengers interested in expressing their solidarity, as well as journalists. They said they believed they would be able to "break the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip."
Yasser Kashlak, chairman of the Free Palestine Movement, called on "anyone who sees himself as a freeman to take part in this marine journey, which will leave the Lebanon coast this coming week."
Irish Nobel peace laureate eats dinner with Israeli inspectors, who laud civilized conduct of activists detained on board Rachel Corrie ship
A representative of the Reporters without Borders organization said that "the ship will leave the Beirut coast on the weekend with 50 journalists and 25 European activists, including several European parliament members." He stressed that this sail will not be "the end of it".
On Friday, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah delivered a televised speech during an event of solidarity with the Marmara sail to Gaza, which left nine activists dead during an Israeli raid, and called for "a second freedom sail, in order to break the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip." He urged Lebanese people to take part in the sail.
The events of protest against Israel continued across the world on Saturday. One of the main events was held in Paris, where thousands of people gathered in the Bastille area, waving Palestinian flags. The rally was attended by many Muslims, as well as some 100 local Jews.
Another protest was held in Dublin, the home port of the Rachel Corrie ship, where hundreds of people gathered in the city center. The marched towards the Irish Foreign Ministry and expressed their protest over the Irish government's official call to the ship to obey the Navy's orders and refrain from reaching Gaza.
Thousands of people protested in London as well, many of them wearing shirts with the inscription, "Free Gaza." At first they marched to the prime minister's residence on Downing Street and then to the Israeli Embassy.
In Berlin, protestors held signs reading, "End the siege, free Gaza."