The freedom flotilla to Gaza will leave Athens shortly. I will be on it along with many other participants including members of parliament and public figures from around the world. This civil flotilla is a peaceful one whose aim is to end the siege by way of turning international attention to the situation of 1.8 million Palestinians, living in disgraceful, prison-like conditions as a result of Israel’s military siege of both sea and land — not to mention that it poses collective punishment and brutal violation of the international humanitarian law.
Around 10 pm Friday, Ship to Gaza’s trawler Marianne of Gothenburg left the port of Messina at the east coast of Sicilia and sailed out on to the Ionian sea through the strait of Messina.
During the coming week Marianne will meet up with the other boats who are part of Freedom Flottila III. Together they will try to break the illegal blockade on Gaza through a peaceful non-violent action. The short stop in Messina was an intensive one with meetings with peace activists and a press conference at the city hall with the mayor of Messina, the famous corruption fighter enemy Renato Accorinti.
We the Palestinians of the besieged Gaza Strip and the rest of occupied Palestine, on this day, more than eight years after closures began on Gaza, are saying: Enough inaction, enough discussion, enough waiting - the full siege on the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea must end.
The atrocities in the war on Gaza last summer left us with a loss of 2.200 lives, among them over 500 children. More than 11.000 people were injured. The physical destruction was devastating. The homeless can be counted to 100.000.