Gaza flotilla activists vow to face Israel nonviolently

'I am with the activists until the end, and I will not give up,' former Tunisian president Mohammed al-Marzouki has said

Gaza flotilla activists vow to face Israel nonviolently

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Former Tunisian president Mohammed Al-Marzouki has confirmed his participation in the Third Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Al-Marzouki told Anadolu Agency in the Greek city of Crete Wednesday that the world had forgotten about Israel’s blockade on Gaza amid other crises, including in Syria and Libya.

He highlighted the fact that all flotilla participants were peaceful protesters and none of them were armed.

"I am with the activists until the end, and I will not give up," he said.

The former Tunisian president also said that if Israel resorted to violence against them it would be to Israel's disadvantage.

He urged the international community to apply pressure on Israel. "All of us want peace. We want to see the peace in this region of the world," he said.

He added that they would bring medicines to sick children in Gaza.

Earlier, a Canadian representative said that the flotilla would demonstrate peaceful and nonviolent resistance if the Israeli army decided to confront it.

Speaking with journalists in Crete, Ehab Lotayef said that the main goal of the flotilla was to reach the under siege Gaza Strip, and not Israel.

“Our mission is not a humanitarian initiative, it is a political mission,” Lotayef said, adding that it was a peaceful mission aimed to attract the world’s attention to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, as well as to ensure an end to it.

He described the Israeli blockade as “inhumane and illegitimate”.

About the measures the flotilla participants would take if Israel forced it to stop, he said that everyone would refrain from violence.

“We are not entering Israeli land, our goal is to enter the territory of Gaza,” he said. “If the Israeli army decides to stop us, they will face a peaceful resistance. However, we do not believe they have the right to stop us,” he added.

Lotayef also said that entering Gaza would be a moral victory; however, that was not their main goal.

“The real success will be the removal of the blockade,” he said.

He said that the Canadian vessel was ready to join the flotilla, but avoided giving an exact date about when that would happen.

Vice-President of the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, Ziad al-Aloul, said that even if the flotilla was stopped by Israel, similar actions would continue as long as the blockade remained in place.

“One of our purposes of this initiative has already been accomplished, as people have begun to talk about the blockade of Gaza,” al-Aloul said.

He said that it was also possible that Israel may not only stop the flotilla, but also forcefully take it within its custody into its harbors.

“We will continue this mission as we believe in it,” he said, adding: “We have already starting planning a next similar action”.

Meanwhile, the departure of the Third Gaza Freedom Flotilla from Greece was postponed to Friday because of unfavorable weather conditions. The port from which the flotilla would depart was being kept a secret.

The Third Freedom Flotilla has made several stops along its way to Gaza, including in Greece, Spain and France.

Apart from Marzouki, human rights activists from all over the world are aboard the flotilla.

The flotilla includes the Marianne Boat, which departed from the Swedish Gothenburg port on May 10, and joined other ships en route. Boats from the Canadian Boat to Gaza, Greece Ship to Gaza, Freedom Flotilla Italia, Norway Ship to Gaza, South Africa Palestine Solidarity Alliance, Spain Rumbo a Gaza and Turkey's Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) are part of the third attempt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Haziran 2015, 11:02