Pro-Palestinian activists rally in Athens

PressTV – Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:19PM

Pro-Palestinian activists marched to the Greek parliament during a protest against Athens’ ban not allowing their ships to set sail to Gaza, in Athens July 12, 2011.
Pro-Palestinian activists have staged a protest rally in the Greek capital of Athens, criticizing the government for complicity with Israel in keeping Gaza under a deadly blockade.

Marching towards the Greek parliament, pro-Palestinian activists from an international aid flotilla, which has been banned from setting sail for Gaza by Greek authorities, called on the government to let the convoy leave for the besieged coastal sliver.

Some 10 ships with hundreds of activists have gathered in various Greek ports as part of the Freedom Flotilla II.

The flotilla was supposed to set sail for the Gaza Strip in early July in a bid to break Israel’s five-year blockade on the coastal territory which is home to 1.5 million Palestinians.

But Greek authorities prevented all Gaza-bound ships from leaving the country’s ports and the vessels are currently stuck in Greece.

Members of the flotilla accuse the Greek government of succumbing to Israeli pressure to block the international convoy.

Greece has recently expanded its relations with Israel, and the two sides are currently holding preliminary talks on potential energy deals.

Greece’s cash-strapped government is also seeking additional sources of overseas investment, possibly from Israel, to offset its financial crisis.

Israel’s security cabinet has ordered the Israeli navy to use all possible means to prevent the incoming international aid flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip, but the Freedom Flotilla II organizers insist on pushing ahead with their aid mission.

HM/PKH/AKM

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