Setting sail from various ports in Greece; Americans, Europeans, Arabs, Palestinians and Israelis, Christians, Muslims and Jews, head out towards Gaza to provide humanitarian aid and to express their support for the people of Gaza.
Several ships carrying people of diverse ages and professions, including a disproportionate number of reporters, await the call to depart into the Mediterranean. The Israeli government and military oppose this act. They view this as a challenge to their sovereignty over the sea, over the waters that lie in front of their shores (as each Mediterranean country claims control over their part of the sea). Yet the organizers of the Gaza flotilla insist on arrival by sea. They initially argue for the need to allow the humanitarian supplies to reach the people under naval blockade. Later, with the intervention of the UN Secretary General, the Greek offer the flotilla organizers a compromise – to redirect the humanitarian aid from the flotilla ships onto vessels of the Greek government to be transferred to Gaza via the Ashdod port (Israel) or Arish port (Egypt) and further transported by land from either of these to Gaza under supervision of Greek and UN authorities. The flotilla organizers decline the offer—they insist on arriving directly to the port of Gaza via the sea. Their mission calls for Gaza’s right of access, as well as their own right to the sea.
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