Mini Gaza Freedom Flotilla to set sail on Sunday 26Jun11 June 26, 2011
Palestine News Network -Â Â 25 June 2011
Utrecht – PNN â A Number of Dutch human rights and solidarity groups are organizing a mini flotilla in the canals of Utrecht, in the center of the country, to show support for the humanitarian aid Freedom Flotilla to set sail to Gaza later this month.
On Saturday 25th of June several boats with supporters of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla will pass through the canals of Utrecht, some of the supporters are Dutch celebrities and former politicians. The boats will be decorated with balloons in the colors of the Palestinian flag, banners and flags. A live music band will perform on one of the boats.
âWith this action on Saturday we show our support for the departure of the Freedom Flotilla and we urge the Israeli authorities not to hinder or attack the passage through international waters to the Gaza strip.â Organizers said in their press release.
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla will leave soon after the weekend with 12 boats of humanitarian aid, to break the four-year long Israeli siege on Gaza. The Dutch – Italian shared boat will carry the name ‘Open Gaza – Stefano Chiarini’ and has 13 Dutch participants.
Last year the Israel navy attacked the first freedom flotilla as it was sailing in international waters killing nine Turkish aid workers on the Turkish flagged ship Mavi Marmara.
Earlier in the month IHH, organizers of Mavi Marmara, announced that they will not be joining the flotilla because they could not fix Mavi Marmara in time since Israel damaged it last year.
In Israel the Israeli navy announced that they conducted a number of trainings to counter the flotilla; Turkey, once a major weapon buyer from Israel, severed ties with Israel after the attack on Mavi Marmara last year.