CAIRO – Defying the latest Israeli attacks against Gaza's Ark last month, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has announced plans to sail towards the besieged strip next autumn.
"In response to this attack we will increase our efforts to challenge the blockade through non-violent direct action," Freedom Flotilla Coalition said in a statement obtained by Onislam.net.
"We now plan to sail Gaza's Ark early in the fall of 2014."
Launching its mission eight years ago, the Freedom Flotilla coalition have been challenging the illegal blockade of Gaza strip, seeking to provide humanitarian relief to the besieged Palestinian civilians.
The Freedom Flotilla has repeatedly being attacked by the Israeli forces over the past years to block aid to the plagued strip.
The latest attack was on April 29, targeting Gaza's Ark while it was in the port of Gaza.
"The attack, which occurred on April 29th, caused substantial damage to the hull of the boat," the coalition said.
"These hull damages and others caused by the explosion need a minimum of 2 months work to repair at a cost of approximately US $30,000."
Although the attackers are still unknown, accusations are pointing fingers at the Israeli government.
"The authorities have not yet concluded their investigations of the incident, so it is premature to blame anyone, but it is well known who enforces the blockade on Gaza and who doesn't want it challenged,” the Freedom Flotilla Coalition stated.
"Preliminary results of the investigation and inspection by our partners indicate that the materials which were used in the attack are not readily found in Gaza."
An earlier attack on the Freedom Flotilla in May, 2010, has left at least nine Turkish activists killed and scores wounded when Israeli commandos stormed the aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip.
The shipment was an effort by the rights activists to break a stifling Israeli siege on the Palestinian territory, home to 1.6 million people.
A UN probe into Gaza flotilla raid accused Israel of grave human rights violations.
It also condemned Israel for its unlawful blockade on Gaza and triggering a humanitarian crisis in the strip.
Yet, the freedom coalition stressed its commitment to end the siege on Gaza strip during the two-day meeting that was held in London from May 11-12.
"The Freedom Flotilla Coalition commits to continue its work against the blockade of Gaza in all ways and by all non-violent means possible, including supporting the May 31st International Freedom Day for Gaza," the coalition pledged.
Livelihood in the Gaza Strip, home to more than 1.8 million, has badly deteriorated since Israel imposed a crippling siege on the enclave in 2006.
The siege leaves most of Gazans cut off from the outside world and struggling with desperate poverty.
A UN report said last week that poverty stood at 40 percent among Gaza population, of whom 80 percent depended on outside aid.The report said nearly 30 percent of Gazans were jobless and that eight out of 10 households are dependent on some kind of aid
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