Scandinavians launch ship to break Gaza blockade (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS 08/08/12)
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OSLO - Scandinavian activist groups are launching an aid ship
destined for Gaza on Tuesday, hoping to challenge the Israeli
blockade and draw international attention to the conflict in a move
reminiscent of the 2010 "Freedom Flotilla", organizers said.
"We have the same goal as the previous flotillas, to put an end to
the blockade of Gaza by challenging the Israeli navy," said Torstein
Dahle, the leader of the Norwegian section of the activist
group "Ship to Gaza".
"This time around it will be an easy task for the Israelis to stop us
because we will be so few and strictly non-violent," Dahle told
Reuters at Oslo harbour.
In May 2010, several aid ships trying to run Israel´s blockade of the
Gaza Strip were halted by Israeli naval commandos, who killed nine
pro-Palestinian Turks aboard one of the vessels.
A second convoy, planned a year later, did not sail after the
organizers said they had been sabotaged.
In November 2011, the Israeli navy boarded two yachts in
international waters, one Canadian and one Irish, carrying pro-
Palestinian activists and medical supplies and heading for Gaza to
challenge the Israeli blockade.
The SV Estelle, a 53-metre vessel backed mainly by Swedish and
Norwegian groups, will sail from Oslo on Tuesday, and organizers hope
several other ships will join it during its journey before it reaches
waters off Gaza in October.
Israel says it blockades seaborne approaches to the Gaza Strip to
prevent arms smuggling to the Palestinians (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 08/08/12)
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