Belfast Telegraph

Irish aid body plans a second voyage to Gaza Strip

By Claire McNeilly

A committee has been set up to help buy an Irish ship to sail in a second Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, it emerged last night.

The Irish Ship to Gaza Committee, which comprises a number of Irish anti-war and pro-Palestinian organisations, intends to send a convoy to the region in October.

Three months ago, Israeli forces attacked a flotilla of six aid ships aiming to break the blockade of Gaza.

Nine people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire was among those on board one of the vessels attempting to deliver medicines and other supplies to Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. However, at a meeting in Istanbul three weeks ago, organisers agreed to create a second Freedom Flotilla, this time with 12 to 15 ships.

The Irish Ship to Gaza Committee includes the Free Gaza Movement (one of the main organisers of the original flotilla), the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Palestinian Rights Institute, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Derry Friends of Palestine, Ireland to Gaza, the Belfast Friends of Palestine and the Trade Union Friends of Palestine.

Israel has claimed it allows about 15,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid into Gaza every week.

But the UN says this accounts for less than a quarter of the minimum the Gazan people need.

Belfast Telegraph


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