Friday, 26 June 2015

Gaza flotilla ship sabotaged days before expected arrival


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- One of the ships taking part in a flotilla headed towards Gaza strip was sabotaged south of Crete, an activist aboard one of the ships said Thursday.

Israeli-born Swedish activist Dror Feiler told Nazareth-based al-Shams radio that the ship had been sabotaged by professionals, and would have sunk if sailed at sea.

"Somebody went underneath the ship at night and sabotaged its propellers, just like they sabotaged the same ship in 2011,” Fieler said referring to similar damage that was inflicted upon a ship participating in a previous flotilla.

Feiler, who relinquished his Israeli citizenship after moving to Sweden, boarded the trawler Marianne of Gothenburg in Sweden with 18 other activists six weeks ago. The crew had refrained from stopping at European ports prior to avoid being held by authorities, but their trip was cut short after realizing that they might have drowned had they continued.

Despite the sabotage, the remainder of the flotilla convoy will move as planned with the ships expected arrive in Gaza in succession within three days, Feiler said.

The flotilla is the third of it's kind to attempt to access the Gaza Strip by sea since 2010, aiming break the nearly nine-year Israeli blockade causing what is termed by rights organizations as a humanitarian crisis for the strip's 1.8 million residents.

In May 2010, Israeli forces staged a raid on a six-ship flotilla which ended in bloodshed, claiming the lives of 10 Turkish rights activists and sparked a crisis with Ankara. more

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