Shalom Life | August 02, 2015

Flotilla to go ahead despite open crossing

Organizers of Turkish flotilla determined to go ahead with plans next month despite opening of Rafah border crossing. 'This is the language people understand, this is the only way people will pay attention to Palestinian suffering,' IHH spokesman says.

By: Aviel Magnezi

Published: May 26th, 2011 in News » Israel

Flotilla to go ahead despite open crossing

Organizers of the Turkish flotilla to Gaza are adamant about going ahead with their plans to challenge Israel's blockade next month despite official reports that the Rafah border crossing will be opened to Palestinians as of Saturday.

"We shall set sail, we have many surprises in store," IHH spokesman Ömer Faruk said. "If there really is no blockade then there shouldn't be a problem with us going there. Everything will become clearer next month."

Faruk claims that had the previous flotilla not departed, the Rafah border would not have been opened. "That's the language people understand, it's the only way they will pay attention to Palestinian suffering. If there will be a more convenient way, we'll take it, but right now our attention is focused on the population in Gaza."

The spokesman declared they will act peacefully, adding "we only hope the Israeli side acts the same."

Earlier this week, IHH head Bulent Yildirim said, "Even if we sacrifice shahids (martyrs) for this cause, we will be on the side of justice."

Huwaida Araf of the Free Gaza movement also claimed the flotilla will go ahead as planned. Araf, a native of Detroit who is currently residing in Ramallah, said that the opening of the Rafah crossing does not rule out the need for a flotilla. "The purpose of the sail is the stop the harm caused to Palestinians and to change the situation created because of Israeli policy," she said.

"It's not just Gaza. It’s the West Bank and Jerusalem. Israel continues to hurt Palestinian rights illegally. This policy must change, and opening Rafah will not change the fact that Palestinian fishermen cannot fish more than five km away. "

Israeli expat Dror Fyler, who heads the Gaza movement in Sweden is also planning to join the flotilla. "The opening of the crossing is good news both for Israel and the Palestinians," he said. "It will reduce the pressure and give Gazans breathing space which will minimize the possibility of extremists exploiting the situation for violence."

But the flotilla is still necessary, he claimed. "The opening of the crossing still depends on the Egyptians' mood, they may decide to close it after two days. This also applies to Israel – sometimes it opens crossings, sometimes it closes them. We are acting on the belief that the Palestinians must have control over their own passageways and points of contact with the world. The blockade must end."

Fyler admitted that radicals may try to cause provocations. "I call upon representatives of the UN and the EU to board the ships and check the passengers and cargo before and after the sail."

He noted that journalists from all over the world will take part in the flotilla, as well as dozens of European parliament members.

"We hope the Israeli army has learned its lesson," he said. "To start shooting is easy – stopping is not so easy. It will only be over when the blockade is over."

This article is reprinted with permission from Ynet.

Anti-Violence Rallies Taking Place Across Israel Today Anti-Violence Rallies Taking Place Across Israel Today TrendingReport: 53% Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents in the UK Report: 53% Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents in the UK TrendingWoody Allen Speaks Out About Netanyahu Woody Allen Speaks Out About Netanyahu Trending
 

Anti-Violence Rallies Taking Place Across Israel Today

August 01, 2015 | By Noam 'Dabul' Dvir, Roi Yanovsky, Ahiya Raved, and Gilad Morag
Anti-Violence Rallies Taking Place Across Israel Today

Following two blood-soaked days, in which a Palestinian infant was killed and his parents and sibling were critically wounded in a fire and six people were hurt in a stabbing at Jerusalem's gay pride parade, thousands are expected to protest in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa

Read More

Report: 53% Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents in the UK

August 01, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Report: 53% Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents in the UK

Government officials are speaking out against anti-Semitism after new report finds rapid increase in anti-Semitic incidents

Read More

Film to be Made about Jonathan Pollard

August 01, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Film to be Made about Jonathan Pollard

The American jailed for passing sensitive information to Israel will have his story adapted for the big screen

Read More

Over 100 Jewish Gravestones Toppled in Philadelphia

August 01, 2015 | By Maria Cruz
Over 100 Jewish Gravestones Toppled in Philadelphia

Some of the headstones date back 160 years

Read More

Woody Allen Speaks Out About Netanyahu

August 01, 2015 | By Maria Cruz
Woody Allen Speaks Out About Netanyahu

The director thinks the Prime Minister's decision on Iran deal could be "foolish"

Read More

WATCH: Jon Stewart Addresses Uproar over his "Secret" Meeting with President Obama

July 30, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
WATCH: Jon Stewart Addresses Uproar over his "Secret" Meeting with President Obama

"Something is not a secret just because you don't know about it"

Read More

Canadian Couple: Killing Young Jews Will Save Them from Hell

July 30, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Canadian Couple: Killing Young Jews Will Save Them from Hell

The couple, convicted of trying to bomb the British Columbia Legislature, hoped to save Jews from growing up and going to "eternal hell"

Read More

WATCH: Viral Video of Israeli Father Shaving his Beard for First Time in 14 Years

July 30, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
WATCH: Viral Video of Israeli Father Shaving his Beard for First Time in 14 Years

People are going crazy for this family's reaction to a man named Mooki shaving his beard

Read More

More Headlines