Gaza-bound ship takes on food, activists

2012-10-17 16:58
The SV Estelle welcomes on board activists and brings water supplies and compact lifeboats during an operation off the southern Greek island of Gavdos, south of Crete. (STR, AFP)

The SV Estelle welcomes on board activists and brings water supplies and compact lifeboats during an operation off the southern Greek island of Gavdos, south of Crete. (STR, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Athens - A sailing ship with pro-Palestinian activists that is planning to break an Israeli blockade of Gaza took on food and passengers off the southern Greek coast, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The Estelle, which first set off from Sweden and left Naples in Italy on 6 October, stopped in international waters off the island of Crete Tuesday afternoon, where it loaded up with food and passengers.

The ship then continued its journey with five lawmakers on board - one from Sweden, one from Spain, two Greeks and a Norwegian, the spokesperson for the Ship to Gaza Sweden movement, Mikael Loefgren, told AFP by telephone.

Thirty doves that are to be freed when the boat arrives in Gaza were also on board.

"They will now sail to Gaza. It's hard to say when they get there given the type of unpredictable sea we have now in the eastern Mediterranean," said Loefgren.

He expected the Estelle to arrive in Gaza around Saturday.

Loefgren identified the members of parliament as Ricardo Sixto Iglesias from Spain, Sven Britton from Sweden, Aksel Hagen from Norway, Vangelis Diamandopoulos and Dimitris Kodelas from Greece, as well as former Canadian lawmaker Jim Manly.

"We will not allow the law of the mighty to prevail, whether militarily, politically or economically," Kodelas said in a statement released by his radical leftist party Syriza, which has spearheaded anti-austerity protests in Greece.

"We will impose justice and democracy," Kodelas said.

Pro-Palestinian coalition

"The claim for bread, independence, freedom and democracy is not only by peoples facing military occupation or expansionism. It now concerns all of southern Europe...a red thread links Greece to other countries and people who fight," he said.

An activist for the Free Gaza movement told AFP that Greek coast guards failed to stop two speed boats from leaving the small port of Plakias in southern Crete with the supplies on Tuesday afternoon.

On its way to Naples, the Estelle had stopped in Finland, France and Spain.

Organisers say it carries humanitarian aid and its exact location can be followed on the flotilla's Ship to Gaza website.

The voyage was organised by an international pro-Palestinian coalition.

Israel says the blockade of the Gaza Strip is necessary to prevent weapons from entering the coastal territory, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas.

The first Freedom Flotilla in May 2010 ended in tragedy when nine Turkish nationals were killed after Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, the lead ship, as it tried to break through the blockade.

A second attempt to break the blockade in mid-2011 with a coalition of ships setting sail from Athens failed after Greek authorities intercepted the boats, banning their departure and towing back into port those who tried to leave.

In November last year, the Israeli navy also intercepted two Irish and Canadian ships carrying 27 passengers and crew that were trying to breach the blockade in international waters off Gaza.

Israel warned Finland last week that it would stop the boat by force if it tries to break the blockade.

Read more on:    gaza  |  gaza aid ship  |  middle east peace
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
48 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be in the mood to philosophize and socialize and expand your mind on various discussions and group activities. You could...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.