Freedom Flotilla to set sail from Türkiye to Gaza


The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is preparing to set sail on Friday morning from the port of Tuzla in western Türkiye. Volunteers from civil society organizations representing 12 countries from around the world are participating in the fleet.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition aims to break the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition, supervised by the Turkish Relief Foundation and the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza, includes a diverse group of volunteers from various parts of the world, including doctors, intellectuals, journalists, and human rights activists, reflecting the global nature of the initiative and the broad support it receives.

Philip Lopez, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s media coordinator, said in a statement to Al Jazeera on Thursday, “We have ensured that all technical standards and necessary preparations have been met to launch the Freedom Fleet towards Gaza on Friday, April 26th.”

He added, “Today, new participants are undergoing intensive training in nonviolent direct action in preparation for this important mission.”

Lopez said that the Freedom Flotilla Coalition carries over 5,000 tons of food, medical supplies, and drinking water to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

He explained that work is currently underway to transfer the boats to a port in Istanbul to complete all official procedures and facilitate the boarding of participants on the Freedom Flotilla Coalition by Friday morning.

Lopez quoted Zohar Chamberlain, a member of the executive committee of the campaign, as saying, “The Freedom Flotilla Coalition receives wide support from millions of people around the world who condemn their government’s failure to protect the Palestinians and end the genocide committed by Israel, including the starvation of the Palestinian people. This drives us to demand that the governments of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s participants bear their international legal responsibilities and exert pressure on Israel to ensure the safe access of the fleet to Gaza.”

International Failure

Zaher Birawi, head of the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza and founding member of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, revealed that this represents the first step in the fleet’s launch from several countries.

He explained that the ships have been equipped with the latest logistical technologies to ensure the safety of the participants and humanitarian aid, in preparation for any possible confrontation with the Israeli occupation forces.

He affirmed that the Freedom Flotilla Coalition carries international solidarity activists from capitals around the world to the sea in an attempt to stop the war and provide support to the people of Gaza, expressing hope to achieve the desired goals and break the siege.

Birawi also revealed that there are ongoing diplomatic and security attempts by some countries to stop the fleet, but he confirmed that the determination of the activists and the heads of humanitarian institutions will overcome these challenges.

Israeli preparations

According to Israeli Channel 12, the Israeli army has conducted intensive exercises in preparation for the possibility of a confrontation with the Freedom Fleet.

The channel added that Israel has intensified its diplomatic movements with various countries in recent days, coinciding with security preparations that include the possibility of armed control over the Marmara 2 ship.

The channel pointed out that the elite units of the Israeli Navy have begun training to raid the ship, ready for all possible scenarios, reminiscent of the Israeli attack on the Freedom Fleet in 2010, which also set sail from Türkiye towards Gaza.

In this regard, human rights activist Hwayda Araaf said that the activists who will participate in the trip are aware that Israel may attack the fleet, noting that the participants will be trained in nonviolent resistance. Peace activist and former US Army officer – who resigned in 2003 in protest against the war in Iraq – Ann Wright warned Israel that any attempt to board the ships of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition or attack them would be illegal.

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