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Gaza Prepares For Freedom Flotilla
By Saed Bannoura
IMEMC & Agencies
Residents of the Gaza Strip and several humanitarian institutions are preparing to receive the largest convoy of solidarity ships “The Freedom Flotilla” expected to arrive by Friday. Israel is still threatening to intercept it and prevent it, by all means, from reaching Gaza.
Last year, Israel prevented several ships from reaching Gaza, and even boarded some ships and detained activists and media personnel for several days. Israel is still holding two ships, part of the Dignity Campaign, and is still refusing to release them.
Yet, preparations in Gaza continue as the Ministry of Labor started the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Fishermen’s Port that was repeatedly targeted by the Israeli military.
Activists and representatives of several human rights groups in Turkey and elsewhere are determined to reach the Gaza shore to deliver humanitarian supplies to the besieged coastal region.
The Freedom Flotilla consists of nine ships; one funded by Kuwait and carried the Turkish and Kuwaiti flags, one funded by Algeria, one by Sweden, one by Greece, and six passenger ships; one of them carrying the name 8000 to represent the number of detainees imprisoned by Israel.
750 activists from 70 countries boarded the ships; the number also includes 44 official figures, including European and Arab parliamentarian.
The ships are carrying 10.000 Tons of medical supplies, construction materials and wood, in addition to 100 mobiles homes, and 500 electric wheelchairs.
1419 Palestinians were wounded during the war on Gaza last year, and some 6000 were wounded; nearly 600 of the wounded suffered permanent disabilities. Most of the casualties were civilians, mainly women, children and elderly.
Arab member of Knesset of the National Democratic Assembly, Hanin Zo’by, is participating in the humanitarian mission to Gaza.
She told the Arabs48 news Website that the campaign is one of many attempts to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza while the International Community is idle.
Zo’by stated that the ships do not only carry humanitarian support to Gaza, but are part of an international effort and a continuously increasing international struggle that views Israel as an occupying power, and that its siege on Gaza is a crime and a means to force the Palestinians to surrender and bow to their occupiers.
“Israel is trying to convince itself that it ended its occupation on Gaza”, Zo’by said, “At the same time, it is imposing a strict siege on the region, and preventing the entry of basic humanitarian supplies”.
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