Published: may 03, 2010; Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
Update for the April 7, 2010 Information Bulletin (ITIC): The Ship Intifada.
According to the Free Gaza organization, the flotilla of aid is expected to leave for the Gaza Strip on May 24. At least three cargo ships and five passenger ships will take part in the voyage. The Hamas administration makes preparations to receive the flotilla.
According to a recent report, the pro-Palestinian organizations’ flotilla of aid to the Gaza Strip is scheduled to set sail on May 24. The Free Gaza organization, with Turkey’s IHH, are working to coordinate all the humanitarian organizations to take part in the flotilla. One of the organizations expected to take part in the flotilla is the Malay Perdana Global Peace organization,1 which is probably supposed to send one cargo ship. The European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG) will send two cargo ships. Sent as part of the flotilla will be cargo ships containing construction materials, medical equipment, and educational supplies (school bags etc.) (Free Gaza website, April 29).
The cargo ships will be escorted by at least five passenger ships with over 600 people on board. The passengers escorting the flotilla will include parliament members from various countries, UN officials, human rights activists, and labor unions activists. They will be accompanied by journalists who will document the attempt to deal with “Israel’s illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip.” (Free Gaza website, April 29).
A cargo ship provided by the Perdana Global Peace organization from Malaysia will be loaded with cargo donated by people from Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and other countries. The ship is expected to depart from Ireland in the second week of May. Once the ship reaches the Mediterranean, it will be joined by other ships and start the voyage to the Gaza Strip. (savegaza.eu, the ECESG website, April 28).
In the Gaza Strip, the Hamas administration prepares to receive the international flotilla, including deepening and cleaning the local fishing port. The works are carried out jointly by the Hamas administration Labor Ministry and elements in Turkey. The first phase is now nearing completion and works have begun on the second phase (savegaza.eu, the ECESG website, April 28).
Mary Hughes Thompson, one of the founders of Free Gaza, said that compared to the previous relatively modest flotilla, the organization members now feel that they are organizing a more powerful action, “one with the potential to translate into a sustained campaign of much more effective challenge to Israel’s brutal siege.” (Free Gaza website).
Meanwhile, the websites of Free Gaza and the Turkish IHH are continuing to raise funds for the campaign (the flotilla is referred to by IHH as “Noah’s Ark”). For example, the Free Gaza website allows one to purchase bags of cement for the Gaza Strip, while Turkish women held a fundraiser (April 24) for the flotilla using an art exhibition they held in one of the suburbs of Istanbul. A similar fundraiser of Muslim women was held in a London suburb.
1 An organization whose goal is to end war and achieve world peace. It was established by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who served as the prime minister of Malaysia in 1981-2003. The organization operates in various conflict zones in the world, including the Israeli-Palestinian arena.