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Activists mark 5 years since Israeli flotilla attack

May 31, 2015 5:11 P.M. (Updated: June 1, 2015 8:47 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Activists in Gaza City on Sunday marked five years since Israel's deadly attack on the first Freedom Flotilla in 2010, a day after the ship leading Freedom Flotilla III arrived in the port of Bueu in Spain en route to Gaza.

Israeli naval forces killed nine activists On May 31, 2010 after they stormed six ships intending to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

The incident took place in international waters and sparked international outcry.

Sunday's commemoration ceremony was organized by Miles of Smiles, an international Gaza aid campaign, and was attended by dozens of activists.

The participants held up photos of the victims of the first flotilla and chanted slogans demanding freedom for Gaza and Palestine.

They then sailed a short distance off the coast and threw roses into the water in honor of the victims, also raising the flags of the countries participating in the current flotilla.

In a press conference in Gaza port, a spokesperson for Miles of Smiles, Ali al-Nazli, said the commemoration was part of ongoing efforts to end the blockade of Gaza.

"We are here to say to Marmara martyrs," he said, referring to the Turkish ship aboard which the activists were killed, "we won’t forget you…and history won’t forget you."

He also applauded the president of Miles of Smiles, Issam Yousuf, "who has been touring the capitals of the world to recruit support for Gaza and Palestine."

A trawler leading the third Freedom Flotilla arrived in Spain on Saturday after setting sail from Sweden earlier this month.

The ship, called the Marianne, will join other ships heading to Gaza in "a peaceful, nonviolent action to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip," according to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.

The Marianne is carrying a limited cargo of solar cell panels and medical equipment for the devastated Gaza Strip.

It will carry a crew of five people as well as "up to eight delegates as passengers in each section of the route," the FFC said, with these delegates to be announced along the way.

European MEP Ana Maria Miranda Paz will be one of the passengers when the boat leaves Bueu for Portugal, with a range of other public figures expected to participate in the flotilla, including former Tunisian President and human rights activist Muncef al-Marzouk.

Gaza has been under a crippling Israeli-administered military blockade since 2007.

Tobias / USA
Unless the Marianne, and other ships, heading to Gaza accept being diverted, IT WILL NOT BE A PEACEFUL, NON-VIOLENT ACTION,
and next time Israel should start enforcing international law, which allows confiscating the ships, that illegally try to break the blockade of Gaza !!
31/05/2015 17:48
Blud / Romania
The skyline of high rise buildings of Gaza City looks fabulous in the (MaanImages) photo accompanying this article. Who is kidding who? I have read repeatedly, they had bomb damaged buildings and no fuel for their fishing boats.
31/05/2015 17:51
Think Peace / Or Else
Unless Hamas and the PLO accept peace with the Jewish state,
the next 5, and probably 50 years will be the same, with:
-1- Gaza becoming less habitable and more impoverished, and
-2- West Bank Palestinians Areas A and B stagnating, and
-3- Israel expanding on disputed lands and prospering.
31/05/2015 19:01
Tibi / Tubas
- Unless Palestinians negotiate a peace agreement with Israel,
Neither another 5 years, nor even another 500 years, will change the course of Palestine's stagnation, and Israel's growth and prosperity, so
- Palestinians Need A Peace Agreement More Than Israel, and
must make it happen !!
31/05/2015 21:59
Arnold / Canada
They look robust and healthy considering the blockade. Could this be a ruse by the Palestinians to cry to the world for more. But of course it is.
31/05/2015 22:05
Henry / Sweden
Sorry to make you Tobias disappointed but it is not in accordance with international law with collective punishment, to attack ships on international water, to kill peace activists in non-violent actions, to block trade for over 1,5 million inhabitants.
01/06/2015 11:27
Lab / London
Tobias the first flotilla was attacked in international waters - Israel is already worse than pathetic at obeying international law, which explains its lying about the ships being in Israeli waters (they weren't). Israel may keep declaring it is a law unto itself - the rest of the world isn't fooled.
02/06/2015 02:16
Avril / England
I see he trolls are out and about on this.
International waters are exactly that and Israel have no rights to murder any one who are not attacking them. Gazas waters belong to Palestinians and as such Israel should keep out.
02/06/2015 10:00
inbound39 / New Zealand
If Israel believed in compliance with International Law there would be no Conflict and there would be Two seperate States. Problem is Israel wants to steal all of Palestine in violation of International Law.
06/06/2015 09:48
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