Activists expect Israeli raid as intl. flotilla nears Gaza

Clay Curtis
July 30, 2018

"The worldwide community must assume its responsibilities and demand that Israeli authorities ensure the safety of those on board, the speedy delivery of our gifts to the Palestinian people in Gaza, an end to the illegal blockade of Gaza, and to stop impeding our legal right of innocent passage to Gaza to deliver our gift of much-needed medical supplies". Israel said that this time, the ship was intercepted without incident.

An global flotilla, meant to draw the world's attention to the suffering of Palestinians under an inhumane Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, is nearing the coastal enclave's waters. Two boats remained behind after a recent stop in the Italian town of Palermo.

European activists and a Jordanian lawmaker are on board al-Awda, which is also carrying medical aid for Gaza residents, he added.

The activists stressed that they will resist Israel's expected takeover of the boats in non-violent ways, reports said.

The Al-Awda ship was rerouted to the nearby city of Ashdod. Activists point to worsening humanitarian conditions in Gaza and say the blockade amounts to collective punishment of the two million Palestinians living there.

The'Freedom' one of the boats headed to the Gaza Strip in a flotilla defying Israel's blockade July 2018

Please also see the earlier post - 'Freedom Flotilla boat hijacked by Israeli forces' - regarding this unlawful and unwarranted attack which began late last night (NZ time).

Sunday's interception comes with tensions especially high between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Friday's demonstration left around 80 participants injured, mostly in the upper part of their body, Gaza-based Hind Khoudari reported standing in the crowds of protesters.

The protest campaign calls for an end to the 11-year Israeli blockade on Gaza and for Palestinian refugees' right of return to the lands that their families fled during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

A week ago a Palestinian gunman shot and killed an Israeli soldier at the border, sparking a fierce wave of Israeli bombing that ratcheted up fears of another war.

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The entrance to the popular Mount Rinjani National Park in Lombok was swiftly closed after the incident, in fear of landslides. Of the 10 people confirmed dead, it's understood eight were killed in the East Lombok district, mostly by falling concrete.

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