The Greek government has been manipulated by Israel to block the aid ships carrying supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip from departing Greece, a peace activist says.
Israel is "bent" on stopping the flotilla because "it is the act of solidarity, with struggle for freedom and equality in [Gaza] by Palestinians who have been oppressed by the Zionists," Joe Catron of the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza told Press TV.
He went on to say that Israel wants to stop this peaceful movement as they are terrified by the increasing global support for the Palestinian struggle.
Greek security forces have returned the Canadian and US vessels — part of the "Freedom Flotilla II" — to the port shortly after their departure.
The mission is named after the Freedom Flotilla aid convoy, which lost nine of its Turkish activists in a violent attack by Israeli forces on May 31, 2010.
Commenting on US and Israeli claims that such aid convoys are ‘provocative’, Catron said, "The flotilla is a provocative action as it is intended to demonstrate the criminality of the siege and the Zionist occupation as a whole."
Some 1.5 million people in Gaza have been denied their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education since June 2007 after Hamas took control of the enclave.