Women’s flotilla takes aim at naval blockade of Gaza

by WorldTribune Staff, September 15, 2016

A new flotilla of “The Women’s Boat to Gaza” left from Barcelona, Spain on Sept. 14 with the intent of breaking the Israeli naval blockade on the Gaza strip.

Two boats, the Amal and the Zaytouna, each carry 11 women, among them Swedish European Parliament Member Malin Bjork and Dr. Fouzia Hassan of Malaysia. They aim to reach Gaza by early October, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

Activists on The Women's Boat to Gaza flotilla. /Anadolu Agency
Activists on The Women’s Boat to Gaza flotilla. /Anadolu Agency

The last Women’s Boat to Gaza attempted to enter Gaza in 2015, was boarded and taken over by the Israeli navy. The boat was taken to the Israeli city of Ashdod to have its contents inspected.

“We know that we are not a threat to Israel. We are not heading to an Israeli port so they have no reason to stop us,” Zohar Chamberlain Regev, a spokeswoman for this year’s women’s flotilla, told Al Jazeera.

In 2010, the Mavi Marmara flotilla was boarded by IDF soldiers boarded, who were attacked by the “humanitarian” activists on board with knives, iron bars and other weapons.

The soldiers were forced to open fire to save their lives, killing ten of their assailants and sparking an international media backlash, according to a report by Arutz Sheva.

“Despite the supposed ‘humanitarian’ aims of the effort, Israel found the flotilla in fact was not carrying any humanitarian aid, or any other type of supplies for that matter, the report said.

Regev of the women’s flotilla told Al Jazeera that “we are carrying food and medicine on the boat that will be distributed to Gazans upon arrival. But mainly we are carrying a message of hope and solidarity, because we think Gazans want that most of all.”