RAMALLAH, May 10 (JMCC) - Organizers of a flotilla set to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip said they plan to leave port the third week in June, reports the
The flotilla was previously set to depart on May 30, the one-year anniversary of a flotilla that was raided by Israeli commandos, resulting in the death of seven Turks and one Turkish-American. The delay appears to be intended to prevent any impact on Turkish parliamentary elections scheduled for June 12.
The “Freedom Flotilla” coalition said Marseille, France, was one of various European departure points for the convoy, and that it welcomed “the recent addition” of a Swiss-German boat. It did not say how many boats were participating, but IHH, an Islamic aid group in Turkey, has said it expects the convoy to be at least twice as big as the one that attempted to reach Gaza last year.
Six ships set sail last year. This year’s convoy includes the Mavi Marmara, the same Turkish vessel operated by IHH on which the activists died in the raid, and an American vessel named “The Audacity of Hope,” the title of a book by President Obama.
The coalition said organizers will head to Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday to seek the support of European parliamentarians.