A year ago, Freedom Flotilla 1 was attacked by the Israeli navy causing the deaths of nine crew members aboard the Mavi Marmara. The new flotilla will consist of 10 boats (two of them cargo ships), supported by campaigns in over 20 countries, including the UK. The Mavi Marmara, however, has pulled out of the flotilla, under pressure from the Turkish government.
On 16 May, a Malaysian ship carrying 7.5km of sewage pipes for Gaza’s shattered sewage system was fired on by Israeli naval boats after entering waters near Gaza. The Spirit of Rachel Corrie was forced into Egyptian waters, but negotiations to allow the boat to unload in Egypt proved fruitless. The ship returned to Malaysia on 4 June.
The Perdana Global Peace Foundation, sponsors of the boat, refused to transfer the sewage pipes through an Israeli commercial crossing point, insisting on breaking the illegal siege of Gaza.