European campaign: The Freedom Flotilla to sail as scheduled

European campaign: The Freedom Flotilla to sail as scheduled

ATHENS,  The European campaign to end the siege on Gaza has condemned the Israeli threats to block the Freedom Flotilla, carrying hundreds of solidarity activists and humanitarian assistance to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Amin Abu Rashed, a founding member of the European campaign who is currently in Athens to prepare for the sail of the ships, said in a press release on Tuesday that the Israeli foreign ministry’s threats would not dissuade the organizers from changing their plans.

He asserted that the Flotilla consisting of nine cargo and passenger ships and boats would set sail as scheduled within days, adding that the organizing alliance did not announce a date for arrival in Gaza.

Abu Rashed disclosed that the European campaign had laid down a contingency plan in the event Israeli navy intercepted the Flotilla including filing lawsuits in European courts in addition to a series of sit-ins and demonstrations before Israeli embassies.

He underlined that 600 solidarity activists from 20 countries would be aboard the boats along with 5,000 tons of cement, construction material, medical equipment, educational materials, and prefabricated homes.

The national committee in support of prisoners in Gaza, meanwhile, said that the Flotilla would include a boat carrying the name “8000” referring to the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and would carry on board tens of European MPs and renowned figures.

It said in a press release on Monday that the passengers on this boat in particular came to express solidarity with the prisoners, adding that an important political figure, who would be announced later on, would lead the boat.

For his part, Dr. Ismail Radwan, a Hamas leader, told the PIC in an interview to be published later on that the Israeli threats to strike the Freedom Flotilla constituted a crime and a clear proof of Israel’s violation of all international laws.

He wished all participants safe arrival in Gaza, expressing confidence that they would go ahead in their trip regardless of those threats.