Another freedom flotilla—Gaza’s Ark, which Palestinians planned to sail from the Gaza Port to break the siege—was one of the many civilian targets hit by Israeli air strikes in July. The shelling, which destroyed the boat, followed a previous attack that partially sunk the boat in April. David Heap, Canada-based spokesperson for Gaza’s Ark, told Common Dreams that Palestinian organizers on the ground plan to continue the campaign “once they are able to concentrate on something other than surviving another day.”
The 1.7 million residents of Gaza — one of the most densely populated areas on earth—were already living under a U.S.-backed military and economic siege, which has escalated since 2007, cutting off residents from public goods including clean water and medical supplies.
“We are sailing against the sea blockade because there is no possibility of a peaceful future without freedom of movement for Palestinians,” said Heap.
Previous attempts to sail against the siege have been met with violent attacks, including a 2010 Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara ship sailing from Turkey that killed nine people and injured dozens, sparking global condemnation.
“We urge all governments to defend Human Rights and the right of the Palestinian people to freedom of movement, to facilitate the sailing of our ships to Gaza,” said Ehab Lotayef of the FFC. “It is their responsibility.”
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