For the second time since May 29, another Palestinian boat set off Tuesday from Gaza City’s seaport to Cyprus in an attempt to defy Israel’s 11-year sea and ground blockade imposed on the Hamas-ruled territory.
The boats, which carried 10 people, including seven patients and injured people; besides three members of the crew sailed off through the Mediterranean, where Israel bans the Palestinians to sail beyond a six-mile limit.
The second journey was organized by the Palestinian National Commission for the Great March of Return and Defying the Siege.
The commission’s official announced that the journey was organized to challenges the blockade Israel imposed on Gaza when Islamic Hamas movement violently seized the enclave in 2007 after routing Palestinian security forces.
On May 29, for the first time ever, a Palestinian flotilla set off Tuesday from Gaza City’s seaport to the outside world in an attempt to challenge Israel’s 11-year blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory.
The boats, which carried 20 people, sailed off through the Mediterranean, where Israel bans Palestinians to sail beyond a six-mile limit. However, the Israeli naval forces intercepted the boat, arrested everyone for questioning, and then they were all released.
On Tuesday, dozens gathered at the dock to witness the 2nd boat sailing away. The commission did not say what will be the destination of the boat, as they said the move is symbolic to attract the attention of the world to lift the Israeli blockade.
“We want to remind the international community of their responsibility towards the Palestinian people,” Khaled al-Batsh, head of the commission told a press conference at Gaza fishermen dock.
The commission said in a press statement that it holds Israel responsible for the safety of the people on the board of the ship and demanded the world to put an end to the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007.
According to commission’s members, who are in contacts with the ship, “The Israeli army gunboats are provoking the passengers located on the board of the ship after passing approximately 6 nautical miles, of the great march of return.”
The Gaza-Israel borders have been witnessing unprecedented tension since the Palestinians launched the anti-Israel rallies on March 30, during which 137 Palestinians have been killed and more than 15,000 others injured.
The protests demand the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes they fled during the Israeli-Arab war in 1948, in addition to lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza.
Source: The Gaza Post