Wed, Sept 01, 2010 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
An Irish Coalition of Pro-Palestinian Organizations is Working to Send an Aid Ship to the Gaza Strip
Update on Flotillas and Convoys to the Gaza Strip
Reports continue of many international initiatives to organize flotillas and aid convoys to the Gaza Strip. This week’s update:
The Lebanese women’s ship Maryam is still anchored in the port of Tripoli. Rima Farah, spokesperson for the committee organizing the voyage, claimed that contacts were being held with Greece and Turkey to enable the ship to anchor in one of their ports. Yasser Qashlaq, head off the Free Palestine Organization, which is organizing the voyage from Lebanon, threatened to take legal action against Cyprus (NTV, August 27, 2010).
Freedom Fleet 2
Ireland: A coalition of pro-Palestinian organizations in Ireland is working to send an aid ship to the Gaza Strip as part of Freedom Fleet 2. The organizations participating are the Free Gaza Movement, which also participated in the Mavi Marmara flotilla, and other local organizations and groups: the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Palestinian Rights Institute, Ireland to Gaza, and a number of other organizations and associations (Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign website, August 27, 2010).
Germany: The Arab media reported that a group of Jewish activists was planning to organize an aid ship to the Gaza Strip carrying passengers who were Holocaust survivors (NTV, August 29, 2010). Amjad al-Shawa, coordinator for the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), claimed that the ship’s sailing had been delayed to an unknown date, possibly during September, and that it might join Freedom Fleet 2 (Voice of Palestine Radio, August 29, 2010).
Brazil: Angela Lano, an ECESG member, said that a ship flying the Brazilian flag might join Freedom Fleet 2. She said that after an ECESG delegation had visited Brazil, she worked to enlist support and donations for it and tried to convince politicians and members of the Brazilian government to participate in the flotilla (Safa News Agency, August 25, 2010).
The Arab countries
Jordan: The chairman of the Jordan Lifeline committee said in an announcement that the members of the committee planned to join Lifeline 5, which would set sail from Europe on September 15 for the Syrian port of Latakia, from there to El Arish and then to the Gaza Strip. In our assessment he was referring to a convoy planned by Viva Palestina, headed by the pro-Hamas former British MP George Galloway, expected to leave for the Gaza Strip on September 18 (Al-Sabil, August 25; Viva Palestina website, August 31, 2010). To break the Ramadan fast, the committee organized a meal in honor of the relatives of the victims of the Mavi Marmara flotilla. They collected 130,000 Jordanian dinars, or about $183,000, for future convoys and flotillas. One of the participants at the event, Dr. Ahmed al-Armouti, chairman of the Jordanian doctors’ association, rejected both direct and indirect negotiations with Israel and called for support of the “resistance” [i.e., terrorism] (Al-Sabil, the Muslim Brotherhood organ in Jordan, August 25, 2010).
Algeria: An aid ship sent by the Algerian association of Muslim clerics set sail for the Gaza Strip. Its cargo consists of 1,200 tons of medical equipment and food (Al-Quds TV, August 24, 2010).
Activity of the Fact-Finding Committee of the UN’s Human
Members of the UN’s Human Rights Council’s international fact-finding committee to investigate the events of the Mavi Marmara flotilla arrived in Jordan to meet with Jordanian activists who were on board the ship and with senior Jordanian officials (Jordanian News Agency, August 26; Haaretz, August 30, 2010).
Before their arrival, Wa’al al-Saqa, chairman of the Jordanian Lifeline committee, said that the committee had distributed questionnaires to Jordanians who had participated in the flotilla, asking them to detail their “opinions and comments regarding what happened aboard the Mavi Marmara and what the Israeli soldiers did” (Al-Sabil, August 29, 2010). The UN HRC team also went to Turkey, where a team of their technical experts examined the ship (UN Human Rights Council website, August 23, 2010).