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Gaza flotilla group sets sail from Athens

AFP/The Local · 7 Jul 2011, 07:53

Published: 07 Jul 2011 07:53 GMT+02:00

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In an email to the Ship to Gaza Sweden campaign dated Tuesday, Interbulk trading cited the Greek foreign ministry ruling banning vessels bound for Gaza leaving its ports.

"Therefore, due to Force Majeure we cannot deliver the cement and we are going to send back to your account the 25,200 euro we received as an advance payment," the email, from a division of Italy's ItalCementi said.

Ship to Gaza Sweden described the Greek's ban as "deeply disturbing and completely reprehensible in democratic constitutional states.

"It is difficult to perceive the Greek government's actions as anything but an assault on the European civil society and business," it added.

The Swedish ship Juliano was finally permitted to set sail from Athens on Wednesday - not towards Gaza, but to Palea Fokea, a small coastal town south of Athens.

""We have been invited by the mayor of the town, to celebrate our mission," Mikael Löfgren, Ship to Gaza's press coordinator, told The Local on Wednesday afternoon.

The activists hope that this is a sign the Greek government is relenting on the ban.

"The fact that 'Juliano' was finally allowed to leave port is a sign that the Greek authorities are coming to their senses," wrote Ship to Gaza in a statement released Wednesday.

Mikael Löfgren is optimistic.

"Now we are just waiting for the rest of the flotilla to be let go the same way," he said.

Story continues below…

Officials in Athens say they imposed the ban for the "safety" of the activists on board in the wake of last year's bloody showdown.

On May 31 2010, Israeli commandos raided a six-ship flotilla trying to break the naval blockade on Gaza in a confrontation that left nine Turkish activists dead and dozens of people injured.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:46 July 7, 2011 by motti
what a lot of nonsense. the border with egypt is totally open. israel allows in virtually everything, other than that which will be classified as for war material.

the gaza tunnelling requires cement. hence, these idiots want the material to allow further tunnelling and firing of missiles next to where gulliver lives along the israeli border.

there is no reason for these people to sail except to be provocative towards israel.

with all the massacres in the world, many by moslems on other moslems, this is all they worry about.

no doubt, they will sunbathe on the excellent beaches, spend time shooting the slides at the new water park (well it's safer than shooting at israelis), shopping at the new mall.

even locals say there is no shortage of goods coming in., only on those going out. read earlier post in bond burlesque, and perhaps iraniboy might answer the questions.
11:00 July 7, 2011 by eldoret
The state of Israel which has an absolute right to exist, and to protect its security, provided it does so strictly within the letter and spirit of the Balfour Declaratio­n.

Tragically­, Israel today rejects the proviso contained within the Balfour Declaratio­n regarding the indigenous people of the region, rejects the resolution­s of the UN and the UNSC, rejects the mandatory requiremen­ts of the Geneva Convention­s, rejects the establishm­ent of a Palestinia­n state anywhere west of the river Jordan, rejects the absolute prohibitio­n against the killing of civilians, rejects the prohibitio­n against collective punishment and torture, and rejects any adherence to human rights.

Furthermor­e, it rejects any collaborat­ion with the UN's Internatio­nal Atomic Energy Agency and refuses to sign the nuclear Non-Prolif­eration Treaty. It uses banned chemical weapons against civilians; it assassinat­es its enemies and opponents in foreign lands and on the high seas, it forges the passports of EU countries and it treats all internatio­nal institutio­ns with contempt - other than perhaps the European Union upon whose bilateral trade it is wholly dependent.

Notwithsta­nding this litany of non-compli­ance (and alleged war crimes), it has a right to exist. But it must change, and change radically. Otherwise change will eventually be forced upon it by the democratic nations of the world. The former is the preferred voluntary option.
12:49 July 7, 2011 by Central European
eldoret : well , radically change of Israel in terms of eurohamas demands leeds only to blood covered beaches ... as far as i do remember this is the hamas kindegarden syllabus.... push them to the sea all....
16:17 July 7, 2011 by Cornelius Hamelberg
16:44 July 7, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
" A Swiss firm has cancelled a 3,000-tonne cement order by activists involved in the aid flotilla for Gaza largely thwarted by the Greek authorities, Swedish activists said Wednesday." writes The Local. Actually, the 3,000-tonne cement should have been delivered to the drug cartel in Mexico, so they keep on constructiong tunnels to smuggle cocain into the United States. The Swiss firm lost the whole point, unless the Mankells on board wanted the cement to keep on building tunnels in the Evyptian boarder so more guns can be smuggled to the Palestinians. How many many copies of his books is Mankell planning to sell with this jippo?
19:28 July 7, 2011 by guliver

David Ben Gurion accepted already with our Independence declaration of 29.11.47 the division of Palestine in 2 states an Arab one and a Jewish one,calling to avoid the war, the day after 7 arabs armies attacked the newborn state in order to eliminate it.

63 years the arabs tried with repeated wars to eliminate Israel:1948.1967,1973and with terroristic attacks against us between the wars,

After Oslo agreement Rabin and Arafat signed an agreement based on yhe pricipe of 2 states living side by side in peace ,after the death of Rabin Barak as prime minister met with Arafat and Clinton in the famous Camp David,they were very close to sign an agreement but then Arafat refused to a peace treaty with withdrown of Israel from the occupied territories in steps, he wanted immidiate withdrow and did not agree to a gradual modell as it was between Israel and Syria, he broke the talks short after and opened the Intifada against Israel,short time afterwards came the extreme religiouse Hamas in power ,this organisation which include 50 percent of the palestinians people do not recognize our right to exsist and fight against us every day
20:19 July 7, 2011 by madadi

I believe you, you are really unlucky.
20:25 July 7, 2011 by motti

Why do believe that? The truth is quite the opposite, I have most things which I wanted and still enjoying my life.

I believe you are lost!
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