A ship known as the ‘Juliano’ (after assassinated activist Juliano Mer-Khamis) was found sabotaged on Monday evening, as it was being prepared for departure on the ‘Freedom Flotilla II’ of ten boats and 500 activists to Gaza this week.The crew of the ship discovered that unknown persons had damaged the ship’s propeller shaft by diving under the ship and cutting the shaft with metal-cutting instruments. It is unknown at this time who carried out the attack.
The ship, a joint effort between Sedish, Norwegian and Greek peace activists, is just one of ten ships preparing to set sail to the Gaza Strip this week to bring much-needed humanitarian aid and support to the civilian population of the Strip. Gaza has been under an Israeli-imposed siege and naval blockade since 2007.
A spokesperson for the Swedish/Norwegian/Greek ship ‘Juliano’ told reporters that he believed Israel was involved in the attack, saying, “ It’s one thing for a foreign power to press the Greek government to delay our voyage with red tape. It is quite another thing for enemy agents to operate on Greek territory. It is high time for the international community to put their foot down and say: Enough!”
A US ship set to travel on the Freedom Flotilla was delayed on Friday when an Israeli group issued a complaint to Greek Port Authorities against the boat, claiming that it was ‘not seaworthy’. Greek authorities are currently subjecting that ship to a lengthy inspection to ensure its compliance with standards, despite the fact that the ship was already inspected.
The Flotilla to Gaza has been delayed from its original departure date late last week, but plans to sail to Gaza in the next few days.