The Canadian ship with the name “Tahrir” and the Irish boat with the name “MV Saoirse” are expected arrive in Gaza on Friday. The ships began their voyage from Turkish coast of Fethiye. Since earlier such attempts by the activists were sabotaged by Israel, the initiative was kept secret this time until the ships set sail to the Mediterranean.
The Canadian boat is carrying $30,000worth of medical aid and €140,000 worth of humanitarian aid.
Organizers of the flotilla, who made a press statement, said the Israeli blockade on Gaza is indefensible, illegitimate and inhumane while emphasizing that the flotilla is an entirely civilian and peaceful initiative. In the statement he made on board Tahrir, Ehab Loyatef, organizer of the Canadian Ship to Gaza, said: “Palestinians living in Gaza don’t want charity but solidarity. As we have shown to the entire world once again, their preliminary demand is freedom. Although humanitarian aid campaigns support them to a certain extent, Gazans are still living in an open prison where there is no freedom of movement.” Loyatef said the goal of the flotilla is not only to take humanitarian aid to Gaza but to attract world’s attention to the need for the complete removal of the Israeli blockade.
The activists of the “Freedom Waves” flotilla said their goal is to ensure the removal of the illegitimate and inhumane blockade on Gaza. Fintan Lane, the representative of the Irish Ship to Gaza, said the Irish people support the mission of the flotilla and Gaza people adding that this support gives strength to “Freedom Waves,” which is a civilian and peaceful organization.
Following the ships’ departure, Israeli navy announced that it has taken all the necessary measures to prevent the ships from reaching to Gaza. This statement prompted non-governmental organizations in Gaza to hold a demonstration in Gaza on Thursday to demand the safety of the activists on board the flotilla.