By World Bulletin Staff
A group of left-wing activists from Europe plans to set sail for Gaza from Cyprus on August 5 under the slogan "breaking the siege."
The activists will reportedly include three members of the European Parliament.
The ship is being organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the International Solidarity Movement. Many of the latter's members have been barred from entering Israel on security grounds.
Haaretz newspaper said that the organizers have reportedly raised almost $300,000 to finance the operation and recruited 60 people to sail on the ship. These include activists from several countries as well as journalists.
According to the Free Gaza Movement's Web site, the activists will include a Holocaust survivor, a survivor of the Palestinian Nakba, as Palestinians call Israel's creation in 1948, and other members of the Palestinian diaspora, in addition to the European parliamentarians.
According to the Web site, the plan is for the boat to enter Gaza's territorial waters - and, more specifically, the "special security zone" that the Israel Navy has declared off-limits to all boats. The organizers thereby hope to provoke a clash with the navy that will end with them being forcibly arrested.
An Israeli government source said that Israel still has little information about the plan, and it is not clear whether it will ever come off. A year ago, he noted, Israel received reports of a similar plan, but due to logistical difficulties, that initiative never got off the ground.
According to the information that Free Gaza Movement announced ship departs Alexandria, Ship picks up at Cyprus, Ship enters Gaza waters.
But Israel threatens this movement with any possible clash when the ship vill arrive Gaza waters.
Free Gaza Movement said "We're an international, nonviolent resistance project to challenge Israel's blockade of Gaza and its denial of Palestinian human rights. We intend to enter Gaza from international waters - at the invitation of the Palestinian people, and without seeking Israeli authorization - thereby establishing a route of entry and exit that is under Palestinian control and sovereignty" Paul Larudee.