Friday, 5 October 2012

'Estelle' boat to Gaza arrives in Naples - greeted by solidarity and donations


ANSAmed) - NAPLES, OCTOBER 4 - The sailing vessel Estelle arrived in Naples yesterday, in the last leg of a trip ahead of its attempt to reach Gaza. With Estelle, which is carrying 200 balloons and books in Arabic for children, the Freedom Flotilla movement will attempt for the third time to break Israel's Gaza embargo in order to bring aid to the Palestinians as well as make a political gesture. "There is a 99% possibility that the Israelis will try to stop us", Jan Hammervold, a Norwegian sailor who is taking part in the expedition, told ANSA. "We are ready once again to carry out our expedition. This is the third expedition of Freedom Florrilla to Gaza and since the last time, the conditions of Palestinians in Gaza have worsened," said Hammervold.

Another two activists will board the ship in Naples, the last to join the crew which cannot exceed 17 people.

"We will decide together tomorrow who will board," said Alberto, a pacifist from Milan who was on board one of 13 ships which tried to break the Gaza embargo last year. "It was very frustrating to remain blocked in Greece because Israel had expanded till there its territorial waters without a word from the international community."

Another two activists with Eco, 'Jews against the occupation', will try to board the ship. The city of Naples has expressed its support and Mayor De Magistris is scheduled to meet the activists today.

Some 100 youths welcomed the ship yesterday and activists raised 1.800 euros to buy an anchor for the Estelle. more

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