The Palestinian Network of Nongovernmental Organizations (PNGO) stated that the two ships, who are heading to the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies, carry messages of steadfastness and solidarity with the Palestinian people in the besieged costal enclave.The PNGO released a statement on Wednesday evening, claiming that the Canadian Tahrir ship and the Irish Saoirse vessel, both of whom left Turkish shores on Wednesday are currently in international waters. The ships carry humanitarian supplies and 27 peace activists from nine countries, including a Palestinian student from Haifa. (The words Tahrir in Arabic, and Saoirse in Irish, mean “Liberation”).
The PNGO said that the two boats carry messages of solidarity, steadfastness, and of unity, liberation and hope, to the Palestinian people.
They demanded that the International Community act fast and protect the human rights activists, “Who are carrying out an important humanitarian mission, whose aim is to highlight the suffering of the Palestinian people who are living under a deadly Israeli siege in Gaza.” They will also hold Israel responsible for the safety of the activists.
The PNGO added that solidarity ships sailing to Gaza represent strong international support for the Palestinians, and displays a strong message of condemnation against the illegal and deadly Israeli siege on the coastal region.
The two ships are carrying large quantities of medical supplies and urgently needed humanitarian aid.
Israel said that it will not allow the ships to reach the Gaza shore, and considered their journey “an act of provocation”. They stated that they will unload the supplies and deliver them to Gaza themselves, once they have been searched and checked for contraband and weapons.
The Israeli Army Press Office stated that the army will be contacting the ships, and that the Navy has concluded all their preparations for intercepting and stopping the ships, should they “challenge military orders and continue their sail to the Gaza shore.”