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The Next Flotilla

12:23 PM, May 31, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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According to the Jerusalem Post, a "flotilla of 15 ships, organized by the Turkish humanitarian organization, IHH - which is outlawed in Israel due to its ties with Hamas, as well as The Free Gaza Movement - is planning to sail to the Gaza Strip in late June. The organizers are currently working to raise funds to purchase the necessary ships for the flotilla and the predictions are that it is possible that they will have to delay their launch date by several days and even weeks."

Flotilla raid

This flotilla will be bigger and more organized than the last one, when Israeli Defense Forces stopped the blood-thirsty activists from running the naval blockade. 1,250 people are expected to be on board. 

While the last flotilla, almost a year ago, set sail under the guise of bringing "humanitarian" aid to Gaza, it will be harder this time for the organizers even to pretend to have such lofty motives. "On Saturday Egypt reopened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, allowing people to cross freely for the first time in four years and giving Gazans a gateway to the world," AFP reports. "Rafah is the only crossing which does not pass through Israel." That is, it doesn't matter that the naval blockade of Gaza is still in effect, because things can get into Gaza through Egypt (which presents, obviously, a great issue for the Israelis).

Indeed, this flotilla planned for June will not be about delivering "humanitarian" aid. Like last time, it will be about embarrassing the Israelis and trying to gain more attention (and international goodwill) for their cause. 

Israel is trying to prevent the activists from sailing by urging the Turkish government to intervene. Since it's not likely to be successful, the Israeli navy is preparing for what could be an even bigger scene than last time around. 

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