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Swedish Ship to Gaza express 'grief and dismay' at Greek authorities

AFP/The Local · 5 Jul 2011, 10:27

Published: 05 Jul 2011 10:27 GMT+02:00

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In an open letter to Greek Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreaou, the group said it was "with grief and dismay that we passengers and grass roots in the Swedish people's movement Ship to Gaza received the decision of your government to block our ships from leaving Greek ports to go to Gaza."

"We are aware of the pressure that your country has been under in recent days, and feel sadness for the Greek people and the difficulties that you are enduring at this particular moment," the statement said, noting the country's efforts to avoid defaulting on its loans.

"Our mission is completely peaceful," the group added.

The group pointed to the fact that they could address Papandreaou in Swedish, as he himself had been forced to seek refuge in the country in the 1960's, after a military regime was established in Greece.

The organisation Ship to Gaza Sweden had planned to send a ship as part of the 2011 international "Freedom Flotilla," which Greek officials blocked from departing following international pressure, notably from Israel.

Ship to Gaza-Sweden said in the letter that the flotilla was merely carrying basic goods needed for every day life and posed no threat.

"Let our ships sail," they concluded by pleading.

On Monday morning, pro-Palestinian activists on a French boat protested the Greek decision by symbolically "setting sail" on the flotilla for Gaza, revving up their engines in an Athens port in defiance of the ban.

French activists were joined by Americans from the US Audacity of Hope boat, keen to show support after their own attempt to sail was thwarted on Friday by authorities imposing a ban on all Gaza-bound ships leaving Greek ports.

Story continues below…

Greece has tried to appease the furious activists, offering to deliver aid "through existing channels" and reaching out to the Palestinian Authority.

Earlier this summer the Swedish Ship to Gaza group reported damage to their boat Juliano, while berthed in Piraeus harbour in Greece.

The Israeli government later rejected the claims of the Swedish Ship to Gaza movement that "foreign agents" had sabotaged their boat, calling it a ‘James Bond-esque’ insinuation, with no bearing on reality.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:30 July 5, 2011 by zeero
What's the problem, try Syria instead, they need help as well...
12:36 July 5, 2011 by prince T
Government forces are moving from house to house arresting and killing people. Press are not allowed in there. PLS TAKE THE BOAT THERE TO EXPOSE ASAD AND HELP THEM. they need the humanitarian goods in Syria more than Gaza.
13:20 July 5, 2011 by benraph
If they really care for people's Human Rights send the aid to Syrian refugees. oh But i forgot if they do that all of their inflated ego's would not recieve the desired attention from the media. And that is the only reason why they want to sail to gaza. Greece has offered to transfer the aid with the UN, but then these idiots would not get themselves on TV.
14:09 July 5, 2011 by Grokh
If they really cared for human rights then they wouldnt help unless certain things were agreed upon first.

take the olympics in china, or world cup in Qatar in 2022, i know its unrelated but bear with me, they go to these places have these events and demand nothing, and we all know those are oppresive countries.

ofcourse nothing gets changed.

taking aid for gaza when we know they have been suplied time and again with weapons pretty much fits the same description, stop with the violence then you can get aid otherwise gtfo.

And after the last gaza aid scandal they pretty much show that they are not willing to stop violence.

and if that doesnt work then just apply a bit of darwinian law, israel is the most sucessfull country in the middle east, and therefore their idea of a democracy should win over and spread in the region, but the world gives too many excuses for religious fanatical and oppressive countries so they linger on to live in the 21st century with a 5 thousand year old mentality.
14:22 July 5, 2011 by Iraniboy

Two wrongs don't make a right!
14:24 July 5, 2011 by me_i_sverige
nice...i love this....now, these hooligans should be deported from Greece-
15:08 July 5, 2011 by krrodman
The world was in an uproar after the first flotilla. Turkey, a long time ally of Israel, reduced military ties. Israel was threatened with international sanctions. If I remember correctly, the Prime Minister of Turkey said that he was going to personally participate in the second flotilla. The supporters of Gaza were unable to break the blockade, but could rightfully claim a diplomatic victory.

How quickly the world has changed. With the backing of Iran, Syria is slaughtering its own citizens. Lebanon is all but a surrogate state of Iran. Turkey, correctly, has recognized that the Iran/Syria partnership is a much greater geopolitical threat than Israel. As a result, Turkey has resumed military ties with Israel. As we say in the USA, Turkey doesn't give a rat's ass about the second flotilla.

Here is where things get interesting. Turkey continues to have close ties to Hamas and will try to leverage its relationship with Israel to find a solution to the Palestinian problem. If Turkey can broker a deal between Israel and Hamas, they will have accomplished 3 goals: 1. Solve the Palestinian/Gaza Problem 2. Reduce the influence of Iran in the Middle East 3. Put themselves in the position of being the most influential Muslim country in the world.
16:55 July 5, 2011 by Beavis
Well with the bunch of provos that were onboard this thing the Greeks did the right thing, the humanitarian thing is a front ith a few suckers who havent copped on this is simply a gun-running ship
17:29 July 5, 2011 by cutthecrap
Ship of fools...NOT "peaceful", but just trying to provoke more trouble and bloodshed as happened before because of the ship of fools actions..
17:52 July 5, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
Don't feel bad, apparently the Greeks ram rodded the Canadian ship in the group. Are the Greeks on the Israeli pay roll or something?
21:03 July 5, 2011 by krrodman
@Smiling Canuk

No, the Greeks are not on the Israeli payroll. But, there is an international movement afoot(Turkey, Greece, USA, Israel) to shift the focus away from Gaza.

The Iran/Syria/Hamas attempt to turn the international community against Israel by focusing on the Gaza blockade has been thwarted by a new coalition that is being led by Turkey. Turkey recognizes that Iran/Syria is a much bigger problem for them than the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and Turkey recognizes the need to neutralize Iran/Syria in the eastern Mediterranean.
22:29 July 5, 2011 by Iraniboy
Let these hooligans die. These hooligans provide food and medicines to a people who were denided for basic human requirements. What a lovely place world was if we had more hooligans like these!!!!!
00:33 July 6, 2011 by diegoveggie
oh lord, these 'activists' have nothing better to do than going boating
00:54 July 6, 2011 by GLO
Sink the boat in open water. Let them swim!!!
02:13 July 6, 2011 by rise
@ Iraniboy

"Let these hooligans die."

Why don't you die yourself!? Nice thing to say, isn't it?
02:49 July 6, 2011 by cutthecrap
Giving aid to Gazans is the last thing on their tiny minds. The real intention is to try to create an incident, and they don't care who gets hurt in the process.
05:02 July 6, 2011 by saab
Yes Cutthecrap, correct. Also, with the end of Mubarak, guess what? The border with Gaza is open. So hat's the need for the flotilla? We know that weapons are moving across the Egypt - Gaza border. How about cement, foodstuffs and medicine? Israel has no say over that border right now. That means the flotilla is nothing other than idiots looking to destroy Israel and isolate her. Frankly, if you want real humanitarianism in Gaza, then free the Gazans from Hamas (so the women don't have to wear burkas) and Islamic Jihad. Let Gaza declare itself a non militaristic non terroristic state. Stop the rockets from hitting Sderot and Ashkelon. Recognize the state of Israel. Then, my friends, there will be peace for does anyone really think Israel won't come to the table and settle?
14:55 July 6, 2011 by Nemesis
An aid mission is the last thing on there minds. If they wanted to give aid, all they had to do was sail to Egypt and get the bus to Gaza. All they want is a political incident so as to get themselves political kudos points. They could not care less about the people of Gaza.

@ Beavis

Got it is one.
00:22 July 7, 2011 by Cornelius Hamelberg
The hypocrites. They are now all alive and claim to be expressing "grief" but what will they be expressing should some of those amongst them who are said to be premeditating violent confrontation and aiming to get martyred, actually cause their own martyrdom?

More unnecessary grief (crocodile tears) and some more fake "dismay"/ "consternation"/ "surprise"?

Without grief but with some dismay they may look at these facts :


And having taken a look at those facts they must inevitably come to realise how fake and counter-productive is their attempt to break or breach the blockade by violent confrontation - when they know fully well that they will not overwhelm the IDF - at sea with or without a fight......but that the Flotilla will have to fulfil the conditions governing the blockade.....or the no fly zone.....


In the name of peace the international pressure has come from the UN, the EU, the US and many other concerned people& groups.....
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