They're Coming: Freedom Flotilla Two and Others Planned - by Stephen Lendman
The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) is "an umbrella body" of 34 European human rights and humanitarian organizations supporting the right of Palestinians "to live in peace and dignity," to be free from occupation, and to have "their own independent and sovereign state, (and) encourages all peoples of conscience and human rights advocates to intensify their efforts to highlight this life-theatening issue and end the catastrophe."
On its June 6 web site posting (savegaza.eu), ECESG reported that preparations for an even larger Freedom Flotilla Two are well advanced, and will be launched in the coming weeks, saying their mission is humanitarian, and others will keep coming until the siege is lifted and aid can enter freely.
Its members helped organize Freedom Flotilla One along with Free Gaza Movement (FG), Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), Ship to Gaza Greece, and Ship to Gaza Sweden. ECESG says that if governments won't help, activist groups like them and others will keep working until justice for Palestinians is achieved.
It condemned the Freedom Flotilla 1 massacre, the appalling propaganda that followed, explained that more missions are coming, and said funding for "the first three ships" of Freedom Flotilla Two has been gotten, Campaign president Arafat Madi saying:
"The extensive calls are taking place to launch a new fleet to the Gaza Strip, involving many ships that will be carrying on board more aid and more peace activists than Freedom 1 which was carrying (10,000) tons of aid and hundreds of peace activists from more than forty countries around the world."
Other Aid Missions Planned
The Iranian Red Crescent Society is part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the world's largest humanitarian organization, comprised of 186 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
On June 7, it announced it will send three aid ships to Gaza "by the end of the week," two with humanitarian supplies, the other with volunteer Iranian relief workers, and a plane with 30 tons of medical equipment. Iranian Red Crescent director Abdolraoof Adibzadeh said it will deliver aid through Egypt's Rafah border crossing.
On June 1, Egypt opened it, saying it will be "indefinite (and) Additional crews at the harbor are working on carrying out the president's instructions so that procedures for Palestinians to pass into Egypt can be implemented quickly." In addition, those with Arab or other passports, students enrolled to study abroad, and medical patients will be granted free passage in and out.
In December 2008, Iran's Red Crescent sent a ship with food and medicine, then interdicted by Israel's navy and prevented from reaching Gaza. This time, Iranian ships "reportedly" will escort the flotilla, setting up a possible serious confrontation.
Turkey also promised to send aid, this time with a naval escort and perhaps more after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he's considering coming to break the siege and show solidarity with besieged Gazans.
Washington is trying to dissuade him. Israel called it a political maneuver. Erdogan perhaps is serious and intends to come. If so along with Turkish warships, it will be a significant development to watch.
Turkey also, along with Brazil, struck a deal with Iran to further process much of its enriched uranium, then return it as fuel rods for a medical research reactor. Erdogan also met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at this week's Istanbul regional security summit, prompting Council on Foreign Relations member Steven Cook to complain that he's "running around the region doing things that are at cross-purposes to what the big powers (read Washington and Israel) want," then asked - "How do we keep the Turks in their lane?"
According to Bilgi University Professor Soli Ozel, "The Americans, no matter what they say, cannot get used to a new world where regional powers want to have a say in regional and global politics. This is our neighborhood, and we don't want trouble. The Americans create havoc, and we are left holding the bag."
More Still Coming