ITALY: Preparations being made for a second aid flotilla to Gaza 18Dec10 December 19, 2010

Press TV -  18 December 2010

Italy’s Palestine Forum group is planning a second convoy of aid to Gaza and the West Bank in support of Palestinians.

Earlier in 2010, the group organized and sent five trucks of medical and agricultural goods contributed by 38 countries.

In previous trips there have been issues over whether the boats could arrive in Gaza’s ports, but the belief is that this is increasingly unlikely.

The group’s goal is to get more European nations regularly involved with Italy’s forum group. They wish to gather their aid in northern Italy, and then drive southward before loading the convoy onto boats in Turkey.

“Since we don’t have anyone to defend us, especially as the Italian government doesn’t particularly appreciate our activities, our security derives from the number of people we are able to involve. So, in addition to publicizing the situation of Palestine, it is also very important for us to protect the activists on the boats,” an Italian Palestine Forum representative, Francesco Giordano, stated.

By accomplishing this goal, they believe Israel will become more pressured into ending its illegal blocking of Gaza.

In June 2007, Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip that has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the enclave.

Some 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education. The poverty rate in the Gaza Strip is approximately 80% and the unemployment rate stands at about 60%.

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