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Mar-05-2010 23:14printcomments

Flotilla Sailing from Turkey to Break the Siege of Gaza

The many passenger boats accompanying the cargo ships will carry members of Parliament from countries around the world as well as high-profile journalists and human rights workers.

NASA photo of the Gaza Strip
NASA photo of the Gaza Strip

(ISTANBUL, Turkey) - The Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), announce a joint venture, sending 10 boats in the spring of 2010 to the besieged Gaza strip. Organizations from Greece, Ireland and Sweden have also promised to send boats to join the flotilla with the Free Gaza movement and Turkey.

Mr. Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the IHH said, “We sail in the spring to Gaza, and our last port is freedom; freedom for the 1.5 million Palestinians denied the right to rebuild their society. We will never stop sailing until Israel's siege is lifted.”

Two cargo ships will be part of the flotilla, one donated by the Malaysia-based Perdana Foundation and one from IHH. Both will be laden with building supplies, generators and educational materials that Israel prohibits from entering Gaza since their brutal attack on the civilian population a year ago.

The many passenger boats accompanying the cargo ships will carry members of Parliament from countries around the world as well as high-profile journalists and human rights workers.

According to the chair of the Free Gaza Movement, Huwaida Arraf, “The illegal blockade on Gaza and Israel's continued intransigence make a mockery of international law. If our governments will not take a stance to stop Israel's abuse of the Palestinian people, global civil society is showing that we will.”

The Free Gaza movement, a human rights group, sent two boats to Gaza in August 2008. These were the first international boats to land in the port in 41 years.

Since then, seven more voyages boarded Parliamentarians, human rights workers, and other dignitaries to witness the effects of Israel's draconian policies on the civilians of Gaza.

The last three voyages were illegally stopped by the Israeli navy when, in December, 2008, they rammed the DIGNITY in international water, turned back the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY by threatening to shoot all on board, then hijacking the SPIRIT on July 1, 2009, kidnapping the passengers and throwing them into prison for a week.

Since 1992, the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH) has provided humanitarian assistance to civilians who have been victims of war or natural disasters all over the world.

One of IHH's main objectives is to take necessary steps to prevent any violations against civilian basic rights and liberties. IHH aims at providing relief help so communities can resume their daily life and stand on their own feet, as well as strengthening leadership and institutions of communities that have been made dependent on aid.

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Source: The Free Gaza Movement

Learn more about IHH: ihh.org.tr

Previous stories about efforts by ships and convoys to reach Gaza:

Jan-01-2010: Shoeless in CairoMary Hughes-Thompson Special to Salem-News.com

Dec-28-2009: Hedy Epstein Begins Hunger Strike to Open Gaza BordersSalem-News.com

Dec-21-2009: Egypt Seeks to Halt Gaza Peace March - Salem-News.com

This link will take you to all of our articles on Gaza, in consecutive order, beginning with the most recent: Salem-News.com Gaza articles

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Special thanks to: WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE




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Jeff Kaye~ March 7, 2010 8:49 am (Pacific time)

I am so glad to see "parliamentarians and dignitaries" getting involved in this tragic farce; as my own government would apparently just as soon ignore the whole thing, as if it weren't happening. Maybe this will help us to wake up, and rattle the bars of the (future) cells the barbaric war crime perpetrators will occupy if/when justice prevails. You cannot persecute, imprison and torture innocent (individual or groups of) people without consequences. It's time those consequences came due. All of Palestine (especially those 1.5 million souls trapped in Gaza), most of which has been stolen by Zionist usurpers, deserves an unequivocal apology and immediate far-ranging reparations to remedy this madness. Food, medicine, (re-)building materials and groups of concerned humanitarian aid volunteers should all be guaranteed safe passage into Gaza. Factions and indeed individuals within our government, and anywhere in the world, should be treated as war criminals - should it come to light, and it will - that they are aiding, abetting, sponsoring or otherwise enabling this internationally illegal, brutal siege on Gaza. Our country's moral compass has become seriously skewed, and it's time for some restructuring. It's broken, let's fix it. OUT with the blithering bought-and-paid-for fatcat pro-Zionist bureaucrats and IN with humanitarians of whatever party in which they can be found. Politics and religion be damned; this is a matter of common decency to victims of horrendous atrocities. History will look back on us as either complicit war criminals for failure to intercede, or as liberators and peacemakers for holding Israel to account for their past and ongoing crimes against humanity. President Obama, it is time that you earned your Nobel Peace Prize. If you continue to enable (by sitting on your hands and doing nothing, or worse, speaking out in favor if this rabid regime) Israel's evil plots to enslave and obliterate whole ethnic populations based on their religion or heritage, you should have that meaningless 'prize' revoked. Indeed, you should step down as a failed leader. The world has its eyes focused upon you with laser-like scrutiny - watching to see how and IF you will act; what, if ANYTHING, you will do to stop the persecution of Palestinians and others merely for occupying their rightful lands. We owe it to the world to set a good example; a precedent of powerful proportions. We can, we should, we must - do the right thing.


Debbie Menon March 6, 2010 10:48 pm (Pacific time)

The toothless paper tigers and diplomats at the United Nations and the United States Government and others whom the powerful Zionist owned Corporate Mainstream Media parade daily as paragons of diplomacy obviously do not even have the power or the courage to demand access to Gaza, which they and Palestine hold as rights of passage under International Law, and human rights. The US Government, by it’s “ deafening silence” on the “Israeli piracy” of the Free Gaza Boat in 2009 and “imprisonment of US citizens in Israeli Prison,” by the Israeli government, and by failing to demand their rights of passage, and then actually meeting with the perpetrator and allowing them visits to the US to roam freely propagating lies to justify their barbaric treatment of a defenseless Palestinian people , they have not only failed in their duty as representatives of a peoples government, they have indicated submission and surrender to the dictates of Zionism! - Debbie Menon == "Israel is the fullest expression of Zionism, but if Israel fears for its security because Gaza's children have crayons then not only has Israel lost its last shred of legitimacy, but Israel must be declared a failed state." - Cynthia McKinney from Israel's Prison - July 02, 2009.


Anonymous March 6, 2010 3:36 pm (Pacific time)

"... Once the number of people who are informed about Palestine and Gaza daily reality hits a critical point the veil of lies will fall and the US support for Israel will end..." Oh, really? Well, here's a news-flash... The veil of lies H A S fallen. Millions of Americans are hip to Zionist Israel's racist policies and brutal ethnic cleansing, which is on par with that of Hitler's Nazi Germany. The only reason the masses are not UTD on what's going on is due to the fact that the MSM is in in the pocket of these blood-thirsty, Zionist monsters...


gp March 6, 2010 2:43 am (Pacific time)

this will heap more shame on Israel. it amazes me that we are still seeing any support for Israel at all. It seems we are near the hundredth monkey tipping point. Once the number of people who are informed about Palestine and Gaza daily reality hits a critical point the veil of lies will fall and the US support for Israel will end. I feel it is getting closer. Maybe some of those rich folks who like to go on solo round the world voyages could go join the armada. Maybe the Canby and Wheatland Ferries could be leafleted by some enterprising person in the Willamette Valley.

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