Peace boat arrives in Gaza Strip
A boat carrying 27 peace activists arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, defying an Israeli naval blockade to call attention to Israeli sanctions on the Hamas-controlled territory. Israel had threatened to block the boat but did not interfere, the AP reported. It was greeted by Hamas policemen and a small group of Palestinian activists.
The 66-foot yacht Dignity took off from Cyprus on Tuesday with a shipment of humanitarian supplies. The passengers included Mairead Corrigan Maguire, who won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. "The government of Israel cannot cut off Gaza forever. We will come again and again," Maguire said. The activists, who also include Italians, Israelis, Palestinians and Americans, are scheduled to remain in Gaza for four days.
Maguire was wounded at an April 2007 demonstration against Israel's West Bank security barrier when a rubber bullet fired by police hit her in the leg.
The Dignity was chartered by the U.S.-based group Free Gaza, which sailed two similar boats into Gaza in August.