The Gaza ‘Fleet’ on the Way: One French Yacht carrying Eight Passengers


The only boat of the Gaza ‘Fleet’ that managed to get under way today as planned is a French yacht ‘Dignite al Karama’ carrying eight passengers. The rest of the boats are still tied up in various legal and technical issues.

The French boat managed to leave Greece last night. The Canadian boat ‘Tahrir’ tried to sail from the port of Aghios Nikolaos on Crete but was stopped and boarded 15 minutes after leaving port. The boat was later towed back by the Greek coast guard.

The US boat was impounded in Piraeus earlier and other ships are tied up with issues about insurance companies that suddenly pulled out or technical difficulties. The activists blame the Greek authorities for aiding the Israeli siege.

The Israel Defense Forces, not letting go of the issue for a second, published a statement that Amin Abou Ibrahim, also known as Amin Abou Rashed, the ‘brain behind the ECESG’ (European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza) is an extremist with proven ties to the Hamas.

Following the history of the attempted ‘Gaza Freedom Fleet’ and also following various press statements one cannot help getting the impression that the ‘Fleet’ is not going anywhere this year. When the largest organising force, the Turkish IHH pulled out with its iconic ‘Mavi Marmara’ after the Turkish elections, the rest of the campaign quickly seemed to fall apart.

Wherever one stands, the impression is: Israel one – Gaza Fleet nil

(Sources: Al-Jazeera, IDF, ECESG; 5 July 2011)

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About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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