Activists brave Israel bombs, sail to Gaza with aid from Cyprus

One passenger, American Cynthia McKinney, said she wanted to highlight "a trail of devastation left by U.S. weapons sold to Israel".

Activists brave Israel bombs, sail to Gaza with aid from Cyprus

Aid workers, doctors and a former U.S. Congresswoman sailed for battered Gaza with medical aid from Cyprus on Monday, braving Israeli air attacks on the Palestinian territory for the third successive day.

The organisers of the shipment, the U.S.-based Free Gaza Movement, said they would ferry three tonnes of urgently needed medical supplies, donated by Cyprus, to the Gaza Palestinians.

"This is an active protest and a direct response to the killing going on at the moment," Renee Boyer, a spokeswoman for the organisers, told Reuters.

A small cabin cruiser, heavily laden with boxes of medical supplies and 16 people, left the Cyprus port of Larnaca on Monday evening on the 12 to 15 hour voyage.

One passenger, American Cynthia McKinney, said she wanted to highlight "a trail of devastation left by U.S. weapons sold to Israel".

"There is a need for the people of the United States to understand that every piece of rubble that is on that strip of land is caused by U.S. weapons," said McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate for the Green Party in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

Three doctors among the passengers planned to remain in Gaza.

"We are trying to materialise a humanitarian and medical mission and to send a message to the people of Gaza that they are not alone," said Eleni Theocharous, a doctor and member of the Cyprus parliament.

Israel declared the Palestinian territory "a closed military zone" on Monday. The Israeli navy controls Gazan coastal waters.

Aid workers said they were aware they could be intercepted. "That doesn't stop or deter us," McKinney said.


Reuters

Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2008, 08:22
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