Irish & Canadian Boats Gaza Bound From Turkey
Secretive Mission Set To Break Israeli Blockade
By Dell Hill
going to try it again. And it won’t work any better this time than it
has on every other try. Several so-called “aid groups” have set sail
from Turkey in hopes of breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Here’s the report from almasryalyoum.
boats set sail from the Turkish port of Fethiye on 2 November, bound
for the Gaza Strip in another activist attempt to break the Israeli
siege on the Palestinian territory.
two boats, one Irish and one Canadian, were supposed to carry some 50
activists and journalists from around the world in an attempt to draw
attention to the isolation Gaza has suffered since 2007. The number was
reduced to about 25 at the port in Fethiye due to complications with
The Canadian boat is carrying US$30,000 in medical aid.
cheers from activists at the port, the Canadian boat, Tahrir, departed
at 2 pm local time. The activists who were left behind due to
bureaucratic reasons, cheered and greeted fellow activists on board,
asked them to bring back postcards from Gaza and to take care of
human,” shouted David Heap, a member of the boat’s steering committee,
echoing the words of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian Gaza solidarity
activist who was murdered in April.
flotilla, called “Freedom Waves” by the organizers, is the latest in a
string of activist efforts to break the Israeli siege on Gaza. The last
flotilla effort, in July, was prevented leaving the port in Greece by
authorities in that country. Activists dubbed it “Israeli outsourcing”
of the Gaza blockade.
The two boats set sail separately but plan to meet in international waters.
am ecstatic that we are out of port. Hopefully both ships will get to
Gaza and we will show the world that we can break the siege," said Kit
Kittredge, an American activist on board.
previous flotillas, the organizers this time had decided to keep the
mission secret until they reached international waters. And although
they left from a Turkish port, they had no plans of coordinating with
any state as they wanted to keep their action entirely civilian-based.
don't want to find out whether the Turkish government would feel some
pressure to stop us. Our preference is not to engage any state actor.
We're civil society and we prefer to act with as little interference as
possible with state actors, even if that state, like Turkey, has taken a
constructive approach in isolating Israel,” said Heap, who sits on the
steering committee of the Canadian boat, which is called Tahrir.
September 2011, Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador after the
government in Tel Aviv refused to apologize for killing nine activists
aboard the Turkish Mavi Marmara boat attacked by Israeli troops as it
tried to break the siege on Gaza in June 2010. The attack caused a
diplomatic rift between the two countries, which had previously had
strong military and economic ties.
have made sure to keep the current trip secretive after reports emerged
that the engine of one of the boats in a 10-ship flotilla that was
supposed to set sail in July was sabotaged. The perpetrators of the
sabotage went unknown, but most suspected Israel’s involvement.”
And this attempt - like all of the others - will be stopped.
than work directly with the Israelis, each of these groups has chosen
to remain adversarial, all the while pretending to be the great saviors
of Gaza, which is the opinion they want the world to form.
They are fooling only themselves.