I’m hoping they don’t mind if I reprint this from an email update I received this morning:
SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty Arrive in Chania, Crete, Saturday, 9 August at 21:00 p.m.
For further information, contact: 6932 766496 for directions, or Greta Berlin, 00375 99 08 17 67
Nicosia/Lefkosia, Cyprus, August 7. The Free Gaza Movement announced today that their boats, destined to break the Israelis’ siege of Gaza, will arrive in Chania, Crete, on Saturday, August 9, at 9 p.m. and that a press conference will be held to welcome their arrival. “Internationals are gathering across the world – in Beijing and Cyprus – with the common dream of peace and justice for everyone.”
Human rights activists Lauren Booth, journalist, (sister in law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair), Huwaida Arraf (a Palestinian-American residing in Ramallah, Palestine), and Jeff Halper (an Israeli Jew who was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for opposing demolitions of Palestinian homes) will be available at the press conference for interviews.
“This will be the first time that our two boats will be publicly displayed and photographers are welcome to come, take photos and post their images.” said Paul Larudee, on board the boats sailing toward Chania.
The Free Gaza Movement is endorsed by an impressive array of international groups and personalities including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Dr. Salim Al-Hoss. For additional information, www.freegaza.org
And here’s a piece from the L.A. Independent Media Center:
LA Jews for Peace support upcoming ‘Free Gaza’ sailing from Cyprus
Bethlehem – Ma’an – A small shipping vessel will set sail for Gaza from
Cyprus on 5 August expecting to be illegally detained as it enters Gazan
The waters off the Gaza Strip are patrolled by Israeli naval vessels, and
Israel enforces a “Fishing Limit” that is 6 nautical miles (11.1 km) from
the Gaza shore. These restrictions on access and borders are enforced
despite the 2005 Israeli “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip.
Legally, the group says there should be no problem passing each of these
lines since Israel disengaged from the Gaza strip in 2005 and should no
longer its control airspace and territorial waters.
The initiative hopes to draw attention to the continued de facto occupation
of Gaza. In an interview with Ma’an on Saturday, a spokesperson for the
group in Israel said that the crew expects to be stopped by the Israeli navy
shortly after they cross from international waters into Gazan territorial
waters, which according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea, extend 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from an area’s shoreline.
The trip organizers think one of four things will happen to the ship: it may
be stopped as it crosses or approaches the barrier marking the international
waters boundary, in which case the crew is prepared to stay on board for at
least two weeks in protest of the illegal halt of passage. The second
possibility envisioned by the organizers is that the ship will be allowed to
pass into the area, and will be stopped in the territorial waters. In this
eventuality the crew expects to be arrested, and the ship dragged to shore.
A third possibility is that the ship will be sunk by the navy.
The final option is that the ship actually makes it through to the Gaza port
near Gaza City in the north of the Strip.
Opening a port in Gaza would allow residents to export agricultural
products, and gain control over the goods and material brought into the
region. Currently, all crossing points are controlled by Israel and Egypt.
The truce between Hamas and Israel was supposed to see the blockade and
restriction on essential goods lifted, but food, medical supplies, cement
and fuel are still only trickling in.