Freedom Flotilla Delayed but Undaunted

Israeli threats and technical glitches have forced a delay in the Freedom Flotilla, a multinational relief mission heading for the Gaza Strip.

The flotilla, which is currently off the coast of Cyprus, consists of nine vessels from Turkey, Ireland, Britain, and Greece.

The approximately 750 activists of the Freedom Flotilla, who intend to break the siege of Gaza, are carrying around 10,000 tons of construction material, medical equipment, and school supplies.

Israeli officials have said the relief effort will be blocked.

Israeli media outlets have announced that the activists will be arrested if they attempt to enter Gaza.

"We’ve changed the coordinates twice because reportedly Israel has threatened to capture the Turkish ship so we decided to delay getting all the boats together," Audrey Bomse of the Free Gaza Movement, which has coordinated the contributors to the mission, was quoted by AFP as saying on Friday.

"This has delayed everything by a day because changing coordinates takes time… There were also technical difficulties with one of the boats so we had to move passengers from it on to the Turkish one," she added.

On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on Israel to lift the restrictions and allow the flotilla to enter Gaza.

Tel Aviv has imposed a land, air, and sea blockade on Gaza since mid-June 2007, when the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas gained control of the territory. The restrictions have deprived the enclave’s 1.5 million people of food, fuel, and other necessities.

(Press TV)

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