New Gaza flotilla planned

The Brussels-based European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza said it had already secured funds to support three new aid ships to be sailed to Gaza, the Ma’an News Agency said on June 2.

The fleet will be called the Freedom 2. Campaign head Arafat Madhi said it would be “much bigger than the first”, which included nationals from more than 40 nations and 10,000 tons of aid. The first fleet is now held by Israel after the takeover of six ships in international waters on May 31.

“There have been increasing calls by Arab, Islamic, and European countries to launch a new aid fleet much bigger than the first one”, Madhi said. “This is a clear challenge by the free people of the world in the face of Israel’s arrogance.”

Ma’an said the ships were expected to sail in a few weeks from ports in Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed his government’s support, including aid contributions, for the flotilla.

Erdogan said future flotillas bound for Gaza’s territorial waters under Israeli threat would be accompanied by a Turkish military escort to ensure their safety.