Gaza flotilla boats preparing to confront Greek coastguard

Andrew Rettman
4 July 2011

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – Flotilla members are preparing to defy a Greek order not to sail to Gaza, as Athens says the project would threaten regional stability.

Armed and masked Greek soldiers already stopped and detained the US boat, The Audacity of Hope, when it left the port of Perama on Friday (1 July) on grounds that the vessel was not seaworthy.

The Greek authorities later the same day issued a blanket order for all nine flotilla boats not to sail and offered to deliver the humanitarian supplies to Gaza themselves together with Israeli help. The Quartet – the EU, Russia, the UN and the US – on Saturday also published a communique urging the boats to deliver their cargo through “established channels.”

Greek foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras told EUobserver the sailing ban was made on the basis of “maritime law, both national and international … safety mainly, it has to do with the safety of people at sea.”

He noted that wider political considerations also played a part: “All the countries in the region are of the view that this constitutes a threat to themselves and a potential escalation in the area which is going through a very sensitive time right now.”

The article continues at EUobserver.

CAJ note: So, if this is really a genuine wish to deliver humanitarian aid and not merely political grandstanding, the groups aboard the nine ships will accept the Greek and Quartet offers to deliver the cargo, right? …

H/T Blazing Cat Fur’s Gaza Flottilla Mini Round Up where we discovered this great photo! While you’re onboard the BlazingCatFlotilla why not also read, Canada Gaza Boat the Sea Hitler Gets Greeked!

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