RAMALLAH, July 14 (JMCC) - A French flagged ship, the Karama or Dignity, is the only vessel of an internationally-organized flotilla to have made it to open water. The boat, says its organizers, is still headed to Gaza to break Israel's sea blockade.
Nine other vessels ran up against bureaucratic snags or sabatoge in port and were unable to sail as planned, reports Interpress News
Nearly all the ships have been confined to port in Greece for the last 10 days, except for the Dignité-Al Karama which sailed from the French island of Corsica Jun. 25, evaded the Greek blockade on more than one occasion and remains the only vessel of the flotilla still sailing freely.
With 10 representatives of several delegations of the humanitarian coalition on board, the Dignité received permission Jul. 9 to sail for the island of Rhodes, Manolis Plionis, a member of the Greek delegation of the Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human, confirmed to IPS.
From on board the Dignité, French Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Nicole Kiil-Nielsen told IPS that after having been stopped last week in Ormos Kouremenos, in Crete, they were taken to Sitia by the Greek coast guard and eventually allowed to sail from there.
We had to stop in Crete to refuel, as we did not have enough fuel to reach Gaza, Kiil-Nielsen said. Now, the Dignité is free and we are organising another group of passengers, probably international, to go on to Gaza.
Manuel Tapial, coordinator of Rumbo a Gaza (Sailing to Gaza) Spain, told IPS that the Dignité-Al Karama is heading for Gaza on its own, representing the dignity of the flotilla, and carrying representatives of the international coalition delegations.