A boat carrying Jewish activists from Israel, Europe and the United States left on Sunday a port in Cyprus heading to the blockaded Gaza Strip. The "Irene" left the port of Famagusta in the early afternoon carrying eight activists, three of them crew members, and two journalists.
Yonatan Shapira, a former Israeli military pilot and crew member on the British-flagged boat said they were not seeking confrontation. "We have a policy of non-violence and non-confrontation," he said. "But if the Israeli army stops the boat, we will not help them to take it to Ashdod," he said, according to AFP.
The "Irene" activists plan to raise multi-coloured flags bearing the names of dozens of Jews who support their action as the vessel nears Gaza, they said. "The boat's cargo includes symbolic aid in the form of children's toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets for Gaza's fishing communities and prosthetic limbs for orthopaedic medical care in Gaza's hospitals," said a statement from the organisers, Jews for Justice for Palestinians.