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Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012 3:57 AM (EST+7)
Scandinavian ship sails to challenge Gaza blockade
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OSLO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Scandinavian activist groups are launching an aid ship destined for Gaza on Tuesday, hoping to challenge the Israeli blockade and draw international attention to the conflict in a move reminiscent of the 2010 "Freedom Flotilla", organizers said.
EnlargeIsraeli troops board a ship from the Freedom Flotilla after a raid in international waters that left many peace activists dead. May 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Uriel Sinai, Pool)


Multimedia
al-Jazeera Int. interviews its reporter aboard the Mavi Marmara
June 5, 2010 11:00 AM (EST+7)
Al-Jazeera Int: Israel boards aid fleet
May 31, 2010 8:52 AM (EST+7)
Democracy Now interviews Gaza flotilla participants
June 21, 2011 11:17 AM (EST+7)
Documents
Call from Gaza for Global Response to Killings on the Freedom Flotilla
Council conclusions on Gaza, Council of the EU
Declaration by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the Israeli military operation against the Flotilla
Publications
No Exit: Israel‘s Curfew Policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Palestinian Education: A Threat to Israel‘s Security?
Background
Checkpoints
Closure
Gaza aid convoys and flotillas
Resources
Fact-Finding Mission on the Israeli attack on the Flotilla carrying humanitarian assistance to Gaza presents report to Human Rights Council, September 27, 2010
Statement of John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, on the Free Gaza Flotilla Crisis, UN OCHA, May 31, 2010
Statement of John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, on the Free Gaza Flotilla Crisis, UN OCHA, May 31, 2010


"We have the same goal as the previous flotillas, to put an end to the blockade of Gaza by challenging the Israeli navy," said Torstein Dahle, the leader of the Norwegian section of the activist group "Ship to Gaza".

"This time around it will be an easy task for the Israelis to stop us because we will be so few and strictly non-violent," Dahle told Reuters at Oslo harbor.

In May 2010, several aid ships trying to run Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip were halted by Israeli naval commandos, who killed nine pro-Palestinian Turks aboard one of the vessels.

A second convoy, planned a year later, did not sail after the organizers said they had been sabotaged.

In November 2011, the Israeli navy boarded two yachts in international waters, one Canadian and one Irish, carrying pro-Palestinian activists and medical supplies and heading for Gaza to challenge the Israeli blockade.

The SV Estelle, a 53-metre vessel backed mainly by Swedish and Norwegian groups, will sail from Oslo on Tuesday, and organizers hope several other ships will join it during its journey before it reaches waters off Gaza in October.

Israel says it blockades seaborne approaches to the Gaza Strip to prevent arms smuggling to the Palestinians. (Reporting by Vegard Bottreli, editing by Tim Pearce)



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Israeli troops board a ship from the Freedom Flotilla after a raid in international waters that left many peace activists dead. May 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Uriel Sinai, Pool)



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