Freedom Flotilla II: Blocked but not Defeated - by Stephen Lendman
On July 7, Israel National News writer Elad Benari headlined, "Failed Flotilla: Only 2 Ships Leave for Gaza," saying:
Only "two ships have so far been able to leave (Greece) on their way to Gaza." On July 5, the French boat MVDignite/Al Karma broke out and sailed. On July 7, Press TV, Gaza TV and other news sources said Greek commandos on Crete blocked it from proceeding.
Organizer Claude Leostic told AFP that their vessel "was taken to Sitia in Crete by the Greek Coast Guard after being stopped in a nearby port (for) refueling. The authorities (gave) various administrative reasons" for doing so, none of which are justified.
On July 6, Ynet News.com writer Aviel Magnezi headlined, "Juliano ship (with Greek, Norwegian and Swedish activists on board) heads for Gaza," saying:
On board activist Dror Feiler said, "(a)ll roads lead to Gaza. It will be a small but high-quality flotilla. At this point, I can only say that after a lengthy battle, we finally succeeded in departing."
The Voice of Israel said it was allowed to sail on condition it doesn't head for Gaza. Activists on board explained that Greece's Coast Guard is monitoring their movements remotely. Israel is pulling out all stops to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching Gaza and defeat Flotilla efforts to arrive.
On July 7, Magnezi said Juliano, "Norwegian, Swedish Gaza-bound flotilla activists to announce their return home" after Greek forces blocked them at sea.
Eight other vessels can't sail. Two were sabotaged and disabled. Greek authorities block the others from departing.
On July 6, a US Boat to Gaza/Audacity of Hope update said its mission "is winding down," despite heroic efforts to succeed. However, Greece's "willingness to (enforce) Israel's naval blockade of Gaza made it impossible for this journey to happen."
Nonetheless, heroic efforts tried, even at personal risk. "Last night our group's activities in Athens ended. (Everyone) went to Syntagma Square....We unfurled, to drum beats, 22 flags sewn together representing the countries participating in the Flotilla."
"It was quite a sight. Now our folks are beginning the journey home - some will arrive today, some tomorrow and others in the days ahead."
Most important is staying the course, ending Gaza's siege and Israel's illegal occupation. "That, after all is said and done, is what this effort (is all) about, and that (this) work must continue."
On July 6, International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) writer Kevin Murphy headlined, "Israel Human Rights Org's Express Support For Flotilla," saying:
Gush Shalom, Rabbis for Human Rights, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Women for Peace, and other Israeli human rights groups "signed a letter supporting the Freedom Flotilla 2 and calling on the Greek and Israeli governments to allow it safe passage to Gaza."
The letter criticized slanderous media campaigns as "lies (perhaps) designed by the government as a pretext and justification in advance (of) further acts of violence against activists taking part in a legitimate political act of protest."