Groups plan another flotilla to Gaza

JERUSALEM, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Human rights groups from all over the world plan to send a large aid flotilla next month to break the Israeli imposed blockade on Gaza, officials said.

Thousands of activists from Spain, Greece, Britain, Turkey, New Zealand, the United States, France, Sweden as well as from Arab countries and even Israeli citizens are involved in preparations to send some 30 ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Israeli daily Maariv said Tuesday.


One of the organizations mentioned by name is European Jews for a Just Peace, the newspaper said.

The activists will be joined by a barrage of journalists from international networks.

Unnamed officials told the newspaper that the organizations have no intention of publishing details of when the boats will set sail for Gaza and intend to keep preparations secret for as long as possible.

An Israeli source in the Defense Ministry said the army and Israel's security establishment are aware of the plans and are monitoring the situation.

"Currently the issue is being dealt with by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the source said. "But if required, we will not hesitate to stop the flotilla. It is unfortunate to hear that Israeli nationals are among those involved in the planning."


Israeli commandos in May raided a flotilla attempting to reach the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara were killed in violent clashes and the incident sparked international condemnation of Israel and triggered a United Nations probe.

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