Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Aid Flotilla: British MPs support second Gaza flotilla

London, June 28, IRNA -- Several British MPs have sent messages of support for the second Gaza Freedom Flotilla seeking to break the Israeli illegal five year siege of what has been called the world's largest prison.

More than 10 parliamentarians, including former Labour shadow foreign secretary Sir Gerald Kaufman, have declared their backing for the international convoy, which is due to set sail this week, just over a year after Israel killed nine activists on the first flotilla in May 2010.

“The Israeli blockade of Gaza is illegal and deeply harmful to the Gaza Strip’s huge population. The Israeli stopping of ships approaching Gaza, in international waters, is piracy,” Kaufman said.

“The Israeli detention of people on such ships, and confiscation of their property is kidnapping and theft. I support all who seek peacefully to break this illegal blockade,” he said.

A number of Britons are joining the fleet of ships from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Canada, the United States, Germany/Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Ireland carrying medical supplies and other essential equipment, although there is no designate boat from the UK.

To mark the launch, MPs are joining directors, writers, musicians and trade unions at a boat leaving festival on the Thames in London on Wednesday morning, which is due to pass parliament in a short voyage.

Parliamentarians and activists who witnessed the last year's attack by Israeli commanders in international waters are also due to participate in the ceremony.

The British Foreign Office advises Britons not to travel to Gaza, but in Ireland, which is sending a boat in the flotilla, Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore has warned Israel against any repeat of last year's massacre.

“Israel must exercise all possible restraint and avoid any use of military force if attempting to uphold their naval blockade,” Gilmore said.

He reiterated that Israel's five year siege of Gaza was “unjust and counterproductive” warned against a repetition of last year's attack which he described as the “completely unacceptable and unjustified”.