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Freedom Flotilla

Aid Flotilla Heading To Gaza To Break Siege

Hundreds of human rights activists with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, including CODEPINK’s Ann Wright and Medea Benjamin, are due to set sail on multiple vessels in mid-April to carry 5,500 tons of aid for Gaza. Their mission, aside from delivering the much-needed humanitarian aid, is to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza amid dire conditions, including widespread hunger and lack of medical attention intentionally caused by Israeli policies. Time is running out for many in Gaza as Israel threatens an all-out attack on Rafah and experts warn hunger and disease could soon surpass casualties from bombings.

International Civilian Aid Flotilla To Break The Siege Of Gaza

The international Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) will sail in mid April with multiple vessels, carrying 5500 tons of humanitarian aid and hundreds of international human rights observers to challenge the ongoing illegal Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. This is an emergency mission as the situation in Gaza is dire, with famine setting in in northern Gaza, and catastrophic hunger present throughout the Gaza Strip as the result of a deliberate policy by the Israeli government to starve the Palestinian people. Time is critical as experts predict that hunger and disease could claim more lives than have been killed in the bombing.

International Campaign To Send Ships With Relief Assistance For Gaza

The horrific 49-day Israeli attack on the civilian population of Gaza continues with over 15,000 Palestinians dead, including over 6,150 children and more than 36,000 wounded in the Gaza Strip. Virtually all of the 2.3 million residents of Gaza have been forced into the southern half of the tiny enclave. 226 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israeli attacks have put 27 of 35 hospitals across Gaza out of operation, according to the World Health Organization. Bakeries, grain mills, agricultural land, water and sanitation facilities have been destroyed by Israeli attacks.

The 2023 Gaza Freedom Flotilla And Global Movement For Palestinians

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s flagship vessel, The Handala, concluded the first stage of the 2023 Gaza Freedom Flotilla voyage this past week when it arrived in Oslo, Norway. According to the Coalition, The Handala has visited 12 ports in a number of European countries over the past two months carrying the Palestinian flag and raising awareness of its mission to end the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza. On board The Handala, TRNN contributor, lawyer, and freelance journalist Dimitri Lascaris speaks about the Flotilla and the global movement for Palestinian liberation with fellow passengers Hege Bae Nyholt, a member of the Norwegian Parliament, representing The Red Party of Norway, and Aram Zaheri, Deputy Leader of the Red Party of Norway (Oslo section).

Israeli Naval ‘Piracy’ Won’t Stop Freedom Flotilla Voyage To Gaza

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition, a grassroots people-to-people solidarity movement working to end the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza, has launched numerous Freedom Flotilla voyages since 2008. Joel Opperdoes has served as captain for multiple Flotilla voyages, including in 2012, when his vessel was descended upon and boarded by Israeli naval forces and he and his crew were detained. TRNN contributor, lawyer, and freelance journalist Dimitri Lascaris speaks with Opperdoes aboard The Handala, the flagship vessel of the 2023 Gaza Freedom Flotilla, en route to Oslo, Norway.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla To Sail In 2023

After a pause due to the global pandemic, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) is set to resume its sailing to challenge the illegal, immoral and inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza.  The last sailing of the flotilla was in 2018. The 2020 sail was postponed due to the COVID pandemic that closed many European ports. Members of the 10 national and international organization campaign coalition met in London November 4-6, 2022,  and made the decision to resume sailing in 2023.  Representatives of member campaigns from Norway, Malaysia, US, Sweden, Canada, France, New Zealand, Turkey and the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza) met in-person and by zoom.  Other members of the coalition are from South Africa and Australia.

The Israeli Government Has Confiscated Medical Supplies For Gaza

Our Israeli attorney, Gaby Lasky has been in contact with Israeli Occupation authorities to arrange delivery of the humanitarian medical supplies, but to date none have arrived in Gaza. Full inventories of the medical supplies in each box have been provided previously and can be produced on request. We urge concerned citizens around the world to call your Foreign Ministry** and the Israeli Embassy (if there is one) in your respective country to demand that the Israeli Government immediately releases the 114 boxes of medical supplies to Gaza, as required by international law.

Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats To Gaza Succeed Despite Failing To Break Siege

When Mike Treen, the National Director of the ‘Unite Union’ in New Zealand arrived at the airport in the capital, Auckland, on August 1, a group of people were anxiously waiting for him at the terminal with Palestinian flags and flowers. They hugged him, chanted for Palestinian freedom and performed the customary native Haka dance. For them, Mike, as all of those who set sail aboard the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza last July, were heroes. But the truth is Mike Treen and his comrades were not the only heroes for braving the sea with the aim of breaking the hermetic Israeli military blockade on the impoverished and isolated Gaza Strip. Without those who were present at the Auckland airport, upon Mike’s arrival, and without the thousands of supporters all across the world who have mobilized as a community - held numerous meetings, raised funds, created a powerful media discourse, and so on...

Freedom Flotilla Passengers Released By Israel

Defending their illegal blockade of Gaza against what they see as infiltrators rather than activists bringing aid and making a point, Israeli soldiers physically assaulted a number of delegates and arrested them, including a USS Liberty survivor. U.S. Navy Signalman Joe Meadors was standing watch on deck of the USS Liberty off the coast of Gaza on June 8, 1967 when a 90-minute aerial and sea attack by Israel against the ship killed 34 U.S. sailors and wounded 174 . Meadors watched as the Israeli military almost sank the Liberty and began machine-gunning the lifeboats. A 2003 U.S. commission led by Admiral Thomas Moorer found Israel guilty of the attack. But the motive is still shrouded in mystery. Fifty-one years later, on July 29, Meadors was again on board a ship in international waters, again off the coast of Gaza.

‘Freedom’ Under Attack As It Carries Medical Supplies To Gaza

At 20:06 (CEST) we lost contact with the sailing vessel Freedom, sailing under a Swedish flag, which is on a mission to break the illegal Israeli blockade of the Palestinian people of Gaza. We have reason to presume that the Israeli Occupation Forces has now begun to attack it and that it has been surrounded in International Waters. The latest reported position was approximately 40 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza. Freedom is a gift for the Palestinian fishers of Gaza and is carrying a cargo of medical supplies, including #Gauze4Gaza. On board are 10 participants and two journalists from five countries.

Israeli Warships Confront Freedom Flotilla

The motor vessel Al Awda (The Return), traveling in international waters towards Palestinian waters, 49 nautical miles from the port in Gaza City, has been contacted by the Israeli Occupation Forces navy and warned. The Israeli navy claims our ship is breaking international law and threatens that they will use "any measures necessary" to stop us. In fact, the only "necessary measures"  would be to end the blockade of Gaza and restore freedom of movement for all Palestinians. At last news from on board, Al Awda maintains her course towards Gaza, where the crew and participants hope to arrive this evening around 21:00 local time.  A number of warships have appeared, so an attack, boarding and capture appear to be imminent, and we anticipate that all communications with the vessel will be lost shortly. 
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