International activists are to reach Gaza next year under the banner of Freedom Flotilla II after a first such fleet came under a deadly Israeli attack.
The seaborne convoy is to sail to the beleaguered coastal sliver in spring 2011, carrying humanitarian and medical supplies, the Palestinian-run International Middle East Media Center reported on Tuesday.
Enjoying Turkish support, the first Flotilla sailed for the Gaza Strip earlier this year, similarly intending to break Tel Aviv’s siege of the enclave — in place since mid-June 2007. The fleet was carrying approximately 750 human rights activists and around 10,000 tons of construction material, medical equipment and school supplies.
Israel’s military attacked the convoy in international waters on May 31, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring about 50 others. The activists were subsequently expelled and the cargos transferred to the Israeli port of Ashdod in the south of Tel Aviv.
Organizers, however, attended a press conference in Rome on Monday, stating that the next mission is to be joined by activists from twenty, mainly European, countries.
One coordinator, Germano Monte, underlined the importance of Italy’s support for the bid to ensure the safety of the human rights campaigners and prevent the previous disaster.