By Meribeth Burton
Victoria's Kevin Neish is going back to the Gaza Strip - participating in a humanitarian effort to bring medicine and school supplies to people in Palestine. There's been an Israeli land and sea blockade of the area occupied by Palestinians since 2007.
A similar flotilla of aid ended in bloodshed May 2010. Neish says 9 people were killed by Israeli commandoes and 50 more were injured in the attack in International waters. Neish was imprisoned for two days and still has nightmares about the early morning raid on the Turkish boat he was on. He made a promise to his Turkish friends that we would return to the Gaza to see the supplies through and to draw more attention to the blockade.
This year's flotilla is enjoying strength in the numbers. 1500 activists are expected to take part, including 40 Canadians. Of the 10 to 15 vessels in the flotilla - one is Canadian. The flotilla is planning to leave Turkey around June 24th and dock in an undisclosed port. Neish hopes to be back in Victoria in early July but knows he faces violence and possibly death in his passionate efforts to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians.