Hundreds of activists who boarded two ships and five boats are getting closer to the Gaza despites Israel’s warnings that they will be intercepted by the Israeli military.
The last of the activists who are planning to take hundreds of tons of aids to the Gaza strip of Israel, set sail with the ship “Mavi (Blue) Marmara” from the Antalya port on Friday to meet with the other eight ship and boats all part of the “Freedom Flotilla” in South Cyprus.
The Flotilla consists of over 700 activists and also has a number of MP’s, journalists and UN personnel on board.
The aim of the Flotilla is to give an end to the Israeli embargo on Gaza which has been ongoing since the violent takeover of the area by Hamas in 2007.
The Embargo by Israel on the Gaza strip has been protested for some time now after more information of the products which were allowed and banned from Gaza, emerged with some stupefying rules.
Items such as coffee, harmless toys and raw materials for people to build and make things such as clothing have all been banned from the Gaza.
One more ship which left from Ireland was reported to have been a little behind but that the ship will try to make its own way through to the Gaza strip.
Israel has already put out strict warnings that if the Flotilla passes into Israeli waters, they will be stopped by the armed forces of the country and all people on board will be detained.
Israel have said that they will first warn the ships to return back. If the warnings are not complied with, the ships will be stopped “by using commandos, if necessary”. It is reported that thousands of Israeli soldiers will take part in the operation.
The Commander of the Israel Navy, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Marom who briefed his men before the operation said that he will not “allow anyone sailing to and from the Gaza Strip” without the supervision of the Israeli army.
The commander continued by saying that the aid will be “passed to the Gaza Strip after being checked by the Israeli army” that is complied with the rules and regulations of the Embargo.
The ships and boats will be directed to the Ashdod port, should the activists not comply with the Israeli navy.
Israel has also told the ambassadors of Turkey, Cyprus, Ireland and Greece that the entrance of the Flotilla will be breaking International Laws as Israel have “issued warrants that prohibit the entrance of the vessels to Gaza”.
The organizers of the Flotilla, has however dismissed the claims that their actions are breaking any laws. The Free Gaza Movement who released a statement said “Most despicably of all, Israel claims that we are violating international law by sailing unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid to a people desperately in need,”
“These claims only demonstrate how degenerate the political discourse in Israel has become.”
UN chief Ban Ki Moon on Thursday asked both sides to be responsible and act with care. A spokesman for Ban said “We strongly urge that all involved act with a sense of care and responsibility and work for a satisfactory resolution”.
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