Mavi Marmara met 3 cargo ships of the flotilla in the open seas south of Cyprus. 3 other ships are also expected to arrive at the meeting point soon.
The ships cast anchor in open waters as they wait for the ships carrying 15 MPs from the EU. The arrival of the MPs is delayed due to restrictions by the Southern Cyprus state.
Gaza flotilla will be heading towards Gaza through the Mediterranean as soon as the vessels carrying 15 MPs arrive. 7 ships are expected to arrive in Gaza Sunday morning after sailing for another 25 hours.
Meanwhile, Bulent Yildirim, President of IHH, noted that the situation is now progressing in a way that benefits flotilla’s cause. Yildirim, “Foreign Affairs Ministry of Turkey, the European Union, Foreign Affairs Ministry of France and a number of officials from other countries have made statements supporting our campaign. I am now calling out to Israel: This campaign has received support from whole world. The best thing you can do is to allow these ships pass by. This is the right thing to do. If you claim that you have been helping Gaza, then you should let these ships pass. Prove your sincerity.”
Yildirim stressing out on their determination right from the start, he says “We have not started this journey thinking we will halt it half way through. We are carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid cargo. We gave our word on that we will arrive in Gaza to those who submitted these goods to us because of their trust in us. No matter how much Israel raises the tension, we will never go back without delivering these goods with our own hands to Gaza.”
Yildirim, in response to Israeli military preparations said “Let them do whatever they want in order to prepare for our arrival. We are not even carrying one little jackknife. We are purely a civilian and humanitarian initiative. We are not involved in politics. We have nothing to do with Hamas propaganda as Israel claims. Hamas can carry on with their own political actions. Our job is to help even if a little to those people of Gaza who have been suffering under an inhumane embargo. 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid cargo that we are carrying onboard our ships is of crucial importance to the people of Palestine. Medicines and medical aid we deliver may be helping thousands of children hold onto life. We are not doing anything of criminal nature, why would Israel need to prepare a military operation to deal with us? Even the press in Israel recognizes that consequences of a possible interception to the ships will depict Israel as an invader. Hot debates on the embargo has been already ignited within Israel. People of Israel have begun to realize this worldwide known fact. Israeli politicians should realize it as well. They have to lift the siege.”
578 peace activists onboard the Mavi Marmara ship, have been waiting for the moment of their arrival to Gaza. There is no problem onboard. Activists are determined to reach Gaza. In case of health problems there are 9 doctors, 2 nurses, 2 paramedics onboard ready to help the passengers and the crew. Sheikh Raed Salah, also known as the protector of Al-Aqsa Mosque, is onboard as well.