Nine ships and boats carrying aid supplies to the residents of Gaza Strip will try to break the Israeli siege later this week, a Turkish organization said Monday. “If everything goes as planned, the ships will reach the shores of Gaza on Wednesday evening,” Serkan Nergis, a spokesman for the Foundation of Humanitarian Relief (IHH), was quoted as saying by AFP.
Organizers of the campaign were warned by Israel that the fleet would be stopped, but they are planning to continue, he said. Israeli press reports said a special detention facility for the 750 peace activists was set up in the south of the country by the Israeli army. “Under international law, Israel has no say over Palestinian waters. If they intervene, their action will amount to that of the pirates in Somalia,” he said.
According to Nergis, three ships left Istanbul port Saturday for Antalya from where they will sail again Tuesday. They are scheduled to be joined near Cyprus by six other vessels embarking from Ireland, Britain and Greece and sail on together to Gaza, he explained.
The fleet — dubbed the Freedom Flotilla — will carry a total of 10,000 tons of cargo, including medical supplies, hospital equipment and building materials, he said.