Dutch Mini Flotilla sail in solidarity with Freedom Flotilla 2 26Jun11 June 27, 2011

Palestine News Network -  26 June 2011

Utrecht –PNN – Despite the rain a group of more than 50 Dutch and Palestinians joined the mini flotilla in the canals in Utrecht, a city in the heart of the Netherlands, to show their support for the departure of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

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. The Dutch – Italian boat that will carry 12 people with the Dutch nationality is scheduled for Tuesday. Amongst the Dutch participants of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla are students, journalists, a member of the city council of Rotterdam, a professional photographer and a retired lawyer.

“The Dutch participants joined the flotilla to bring humanitarian aid and to break the illegal Israeli siege on Gaza” Organizers said in their press release. From their current location in Corfu (Greece) the participants of the flotilla have communicated that they want to bring hope for the people in Gaza and that there has to come an end to injustice and collective punishment by Israel.

The mini flotilla in the canals in Utrecht was received with much positive response from the audience. There were many thumbs up and supportive words. One of the organizers of the mini flotilla said: “The Dutch government is very pro Israel but the Dutch people are very critical towards the injustice that is being done to the Palestinian people. Israel has to end the occupation and the illegal blocakde of the Gazastrip. We want to be on the right side of history and we cannot allow our government to be on the wrong side any longer.”

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.

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