New Freedom Flotilla sets sail from Sweden to break Gaza siege

A new Freedom Flotilla has set sail from Europe to break the siege on the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported today. The Hebrew Maariv newspaper stated that four large ships set sail yesterday evening from the port of Gothenburg in Sweden heading towards the Gaza Strip. The newspaper pointed out that hundreds of European activists were on board the vessels to show solidarity with the residents of the Gaza Strip and call for lifting the siege.

Freedom Flotilla III - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Freedom Flotilla III – Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

This is the fourth such mission to attempt to break the 11-year-old blockade of Gaza. In 2010 Israel boarded six ships loaded with equipment and aid heading for Gaza in international waters. Israeli forces opened fire at activists on the Turkish Mavi Marmara killing ten activists. This led to a political spat between Turkey and Israel with diplomatic relations between the two being severed.

In 2017, having already apologised, Israel paid compensation of $20 million to the families of those killed on the Mavi Marmara.

The Freedom Flotilla 2 was launched in 2011 with a third, the Women’s Boat to Gaza, setting sail in 2016. None were successful in breaking the siege.

READ: The new Freedom Flotilla will prick the world’s conscience about Palestinian rights