Organizers of an international flotilla to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip say the Tel Aviv regime is making Greece halt delivery of aid to the Palestinian territory.
They complain that Greece is throwing up “administrative obstacles” for the activists in response to pressure from Israel, the Associated Press reported on Monday.
“We call on the Greek government to let us sail,” Ann Wright said.
The former US State Department official plans to sail with several dozen other Americans on a vessel named The Audacity of Hope to the Gaza Strip.
Activists blame the Israel Law Center, a group of Israeli lawyers, for attempts to hold up their boats.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Israeli Law Center, has warned maritime insurance companies that they could face legal action if they provided insurance to the flotilla.
Greece has recently increased relations with Israel, and the two countries are currently holding preliminary talks on potential energy deals. Greece’s cash-strapped government has also explored avenues to acquire more overseas investment, possibly from Israel, to offset its financial crisis.
Meanwhile, Israel’s security cabinet has ordered the navy to use all possible means to prevent the incoming international aid flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip.
After two days of closed-door meetings, the ministers committee on security affairs on Monday voted in favor of the navy plans to stop the convoy of vessels known as Freedom Flotilla II from reaching the Gaza Strip, giving the army authority to use “all necessary means” during the operation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
Some 1.5 million people in Gaza are being denied their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.