Palestine Our Route, Humanitarian Aid Our Load campaign which was heavily talked about in the last few months has almost reached its end. Peace activists who have been waiting in Antalya or 5 days, are finally sailing off to Gaza. Tonight, around 560 activists are boarding the ship “Mavi Marmara” that will take them to Gaza.
The ship is expected to embark on from Yeni Antalya Harbor tonight following the boarding and the final checks. 9 ships will be meeting up in open waters off Cyprus. All together, they will be heading to Gaza. The ships are scheduled to arrive in Gaza on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Israel continues to threaten the flotilla. Israeli senior officials and military commanders state that they will not allow the flotilla no matter what it takes. As Israel continues to make statements everyday in order to threaten and scare off the activists, organizers of the campaign held another press conference prior to the departure. The press conference, held in Kepez Sports Hall, was like a tour de force where the activists gave out a strong message that they will never be scared off by Israel’s threats. Peace activists, all united as one for the Palestinian cause, stressed that if Israel attempts to intercept the flotilla, they will re-organize other campaigns and demonstrations of larger scale.
Will Meet In Gaza
Bulent Yildirim, President of IHH, said that they will not leave the fate of the flotilla in hands of Israel. Yildirim noted that despite Israeli threats and attempts to stop the campaign, activists from over 50 countries have joined the flotilla. He went on to say “Today, we are sailing off. May Allah be with us through our journey. We will see you again in Gaza”.
Mattias Gadelda, from Sweden, who bought a cargo ship to join the flotilla also stated that he is ashamed of the hypocrisy of Europe and Sweden.
Dimitris, who joined the flotilla from Greece on behalf of Ship to Gaza movement, in his speech, said that most of the people in Greece are supporting the Palestinians. Stating that they joined the flotilla with a cargo ship representing the people of Greece, Dimitris said “We feel sorry for the Palestinians and we are rising up for them. We would like to show them that they are not alone. We all know that governments, intellectuals and artists are here with us to support this cause. We are carrying out a public diplomacy attempt here. We are demanding a free Mediterranean and a free Palestine.”
This convoy is an altruistic movement.
Muhammed Sawalha, Head of the International Committee For Ending The Siege, said “This is an altruistic movement. We are ready to deal with the consequences. We are not intimidated by Israel.”
Activists from Vatican, Malaysia, Indonesia, Algeria, Kuwait, Pakistan, Palestine, Yemen and Belgium also put stress on their determination about going to Palestine, in their speeches.
The ship “Mavi Marmara” is expected to depart from Antalya tonight.