UK boat to join Gaza convoy

IssueApril 2011
News by David Polden

Departing in May, a boat carrying a contingent from Britain will join a convoy from 20 countries to the besieged people of Gaza.

This will be largest sea-borne mission yet to break the Israeli siege of Gaza and will mark the first anniversary of the Israeli attack on a six-ship aid convoy in international waters which resulted in the deaths of nine people and injuries to 54 others on the Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in the convoy.

Israel refused to permit a UN investigation; its own inquiry ended without any charges against soldiers who opened fire with live ammunition at civilians and journalists.

The new initiative is called the “Britain 2 Gaza mission” and is being organised by five British campaign groups: Friends of Al Aqsa, the British Muslim Initiative, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Stop the War Coalition and the Palestinian Forum of Britain.

The campaign for a siege-breaking ship from Britain comes at a time when Israel’s blockade of Gaza is already under sustained pressure. British prime minister David Cameron has described Gaza as an “open-air prison camp”. EU foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, has also called for the lifting of the siege.