Freedom Flotilla 2 to sail for Gaza by end of June

The international steering committee of Freedom Flotilla 2, a planned convoy of ships aiming to bring material and moral support to the besieged people of Gaza, announced on Tuesday that the flotilla's intended launch date is to be postponed until June.

Following a meeting in Paris on Monday, the committee said that the postponement had been decided upon so as to avoid causing distruption to the parliamentary elections in Turkey, which are set for 12 June.

The flotilla is intended as a follow-up to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla of May 2010, which sailed with the same purpose but was intercepted by the Israeli military before it could reach its destination.

The ships taking part in Freedom Flotilla 2 will set sail from different ports including the French Marseille port, without revealing the real number of ships.

Israel earlier hinted at the possibility of using force against the new flotilla, claiming that it endangers Israeli security. Different scenarios have been discussed, including using force or using Israeli boats carrying missiles to attack the flotilla.

The committee dismissed the threats and called on the European Union and the governments to which the participating activists belong to provide protection against any Israeli assaults.

The Israeli navy killed nine Turkish activists on 31 May 2010 while attacking a Turkish Ship sailing with the first Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

The Gaza Strip has been blockaded by Israel since 2008.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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