Second Gaza flotilla to sail from Turkey by the end of june
More than 1,000 people representing some 100 countries will set sail in the last week of June on a second international flotilla attempting to break Israel's siege on the Gaza Strip, human rights activists announced yesterday. "We will not allow Israel to set up open prisons and concentration camps," Vangelis Pisias, the coordinator for the participating team from Greece, told a press conference organized by flotilla activists, adding that the group intends to show the world that problems can be solved peacefully. "Palestine is in our heart and could be the symbol of a new era in the region," Pisias said. The announcement of the new flotilla came a day before the one-year anniversary of the date when Israeli commandos raided ships participating in a previous aid mission, killing nine Turkish activists on board the vessel Mavi Marmara. The press conference was organized on the ship, which has been anchored for some time in Istanbul's shipyard in the Kasimpasa neighborhood. The new flotilla will be made up of 15 ships, including the Mavi Marmara, compared to last year's flotilla of six ships carrying about 700 activists from 38 countries. The flotilla, including ships from the US, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Ireland, will carry humanitarian aid, as well as medical, school and construction materials.