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Gaza-bound humanitarian aid vessel to arrive in Spain

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows Turkey’s Mavi Marmara vessel targeted in a 2010 fatal attack by Israeli forces en route to the besieged Gaza Strip.

A vessel carrying much-needed goods for the people in the Gaza Strip is set to arrive in Galicia, Spain, on its way to the besieged Palestinian territory in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade.

Marianne, which is part of Freedom Flotilla III and is transporting a limited cargo of solar panels and medical equipment for the people in Gaza, is expected to dock in the municipality of Bueu on Saturday, Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

The Scandinavian trawler that set sail from Sweden on May 10 will make a stop in Spain on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the brutal Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla.

Israeli forces attacked the flotilla in high seas in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens, including a teenager with Turkish-American citizenship, and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship flotilla. A 10th individual died after four years in a coma.

Marianne will join other ships heading to Gaza in “a peaceful, nonviolent action to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip,” the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) said in a statement.

Palestinian children stand amid the rubble of their house, on May 11, 2015, which was destroyed during the 50-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City. © AFP

The statement added that the boat would carry a crew of five people as well as "up to eight delegates as passengers in each section of the route," with the delegates to be announced along the way.

The Palestinian news agency, meanwhile, said Ana Maria Miranda Paz, a member of the European Parliament, is expected to be one of the passengers when Marianne leaves Galicia for Portugal.

Moncef al-Marzouki, the former president of Tunisia, is also expected to take part in the third Freedom Flotilla.

Over 2,140 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including women, children and the elderly, were killed in the Israeli onslaught on Gaza. Around 11,000 others were injured.

Meanwhile, Palestinian media reports said that the Spanish government will provide no assistance to the mission, and it only receives aid from human rights groups in a show of solidarity with the Palestinians.

A second flotilla planned for 2011 failed to reach Gaza after it was forced to discontinue the journey in Greece.

Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, which has caused a decline in the standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty. 


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