French ship bound for Gaza as first of flotilla

[ 05/07/2011 – 02:29 PM ]

BRUSSEL, (PIC)– A French ship has set sail to Gaza as the first ship on Freedom Flotilla II, the European campaign to break the siege on Gaza has reported, while other flotilla ships remain detained at various Greek ports.

The French ship “Dignity” departed from the French port of Corsica with intent to break Israel’s siege on Gaza. The ship is currently floating in international waters, ECESG member Rami Abdo said in a press statement on Tuesday.

The ship, which has six activists on board, amounts to a “challenge to the Zionist lobby,” Abdo said.

Greek authorities have officially decided to bar nine of the flotilla’s ships from leaving its ports to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Greek coast guards intercepted a ship from the U.S. and another from Canada and dragged them back to Greek shores.

The ban has angered activists who say the decision was made after Israeli pressure.

Flotilla organizers have announced intent on trying to sail to Gaza despite Greece’s decision, which they say lacks legal and moral basis.

They said the ban would not stop their efforts so that the “pages would be finally turned on the siege and occupation”.

“The Greek authorities’ submitting to Israeli pressure and extortion and barring the Freedom Flotilla from sailing and intercepting some of its ships would not be a stumbling block in the way of the efforts made by the free world to end the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for the fifth straight year,” the ECESG said in a statement, adding that ending the siege is a “strategic objective” which it would use all peaceful means to achieve.

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