The Delta Optimist reports that, “The Delta/Richmond chapter of the Council of Canadians is hosting a social evening this Friday (February 25) to help raise funds to support the Canadian Boat to Gaza. This boat will join the Freedom Flotilla II sailing the end of March to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza.” More than a dozen boats are expected to take part in this flotilla, scheduled to arrive near Gaza in the last two weeks of May. It has been reported that a number of Members of the European Parliament will participate in the flotilla.
“‘This blockade of Gaza,’ according to event co-ordinator Bob Ages, ‘restricts both bringing needed supplies into Gaza and allowing goods to leave Gaza. So in addition to starving the population, the blockade denies Palestinians the ability to trade with the world, further suffocating them.'” Last year Amnesty International Canada stated, “It is imperative that Israel lifts the blockade of Gaza without delay, as it is a form of collective punishment in contravention of international law and primarily affects the most vulnerable among the population.”
“At the fundraiser, Kevin Neish will report on his experience as a volunteer on the humanitarian ship Mavi Marmar and his capture after last May’s Israeli attack on the ship and the murder of nine civilians bringing aid to the blockaded people. Neish, who was held at gunpoint in what he describes as an ‘act of high seas piracy’ by the Israeli military, has spoken to standing room-only crowds across Canada about his experiences since his return.” The Toronto Star reported after the attack last year that, “The United Nations condemned violence against civilians in international waters. United Nations officials responsible for aid in Gaza said: ‘We are shocked by reports of killings and injuries of people on board boats carrying supplies for Gaza, apparently in international waters. We condemn the violence and call for it to stop. Such tragedies are entirely avoidable if Israel heeds the repeated calls of the international community to end its counterproductive and unacceptable blockade of Gaza.’”
Jose Tanner from the flotilla’s national organizing committee will also be on hand to give an up-to-date report on his recent trip to Gaza and Egypt, where he witnessed the people’s revolt.
“Our fundraiser is a rare opportunity to meet and discuss events with (an eyewitness) to history,’ Ages says.”
More on the Freedom Flotilla II at http://www.freedomflotilla.eu/en/news/announcements/93-ff2-will-sail-in-may-11.
The newspaper article is at http://www.delta-optimist.com/news/Social+evening+hear+from+those+Gaza+dispute/4331897/story.html.