International Organizers Plan ‘Reverse Flotilla’ From Gaza
A group of international activists and local Arabs plan to protest Israel’s maritime blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip with a flotilla on Friday, but this time their route is in reverse.
Unlike previous flotillas that sought to break through the blockade from without, this one will sail from within Gaza City in an effort to reach the six-mile line that marks the outer limit that Israel allows Palestinian fishing boats to sail. Organizers told i24 News that there would be 20 ships and boats taking part in the protest, mostly fishing boats ported in Gaza.
“We will sail with our countrymen as they work to support their families and feed the people of Gaza and we’ll only be armed with international law. It is an attempt to challenge the conscience of the world,” said Majed Abusalama, a spokesman for the Intifada Youth Coalition that is organizing the flotilla. “For too long, the international community has stood by, while Israel and now even Egypt prevent us from sailing in our own territorial waters, and using the wealth of our own sea to support ourselves and our economy.”
Israel and Egypt have maintained a naval blockade of Gaza since 2007 after Hamas, recognized internationally as a terrorist organization, rose to power in the Gaza Strip.