A U.S.-flagged boat is planning to break the blockade enforced around Gaza by the Israeli navy.
At a press conference in New York, the organizers of the “Audacity of Hope” vessel said: We'll carry no goods. Our mission is from US society to Gaza civil society.
It is believed that more than 20 countries will take part in a flotilla comprising up to ten ships that will leave port in Greece in late June towards Israel.
American Jews will constitute a significant portion of the U.S. boat.
The Audacity of Hope wrote a letter to US President Barack Obama to inform him that the vessel “will carry thousands of letters of support and friendship from people throughout the US to the women, children and men of Gaza. There will be no weapons of any sort on board.
The letter further indicated: We do not serve the agenda of any political leadership, government or group. We are engaged solely in non-violent action in support of the Palestinian people and their human rights.”
One of the activists taking part in the exercise, Ann Wright, told press: “Citizen activists are coming to the Mediterranean from all over the world to confront the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza and US government protection of Israeli criminal acts. As a former US diplomat and retired military colonel, I strongly believe it is the responsibility of citizens to act when our governments fail to protect the human rights and dignity of any people—in this case, the Palestinians.”
Last year, another flotilla with similar aims faced deadly consequences. Israeli military shot at “Freedom Flotilla I,” killing nine passengers and injuring more than 50.
Israel has threatened more violence against this years’ flotilla.
Leslie Cagan, part of Audacity of Hope, told reporters in New York “Following the example of years of non-violent Palestinian protests, everyone participating in this project is deeply committed to non-violence. We hope and plan to arrive in Gaza City safely by the beginning of July. Any other outcome is the responsibility of the US and Israeli government's decision to maintain the illegal and unjustifiable imprisonment of 1.5 million people in the Gaza strip.”