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Two new flotillas to head to Gaza

JTA

January 24, 2011 | 11:10 am

Two more flotillas will attempt to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, organizers said.

The new convoys, organized by the Free Gaza movement and the Turkish pro-Palestinian organization IHH, will leave in the spring and have been dubbed Freedom Flotilla 2, according to reports. An official announcement will be made later this week, Haaretz reported Monday.

The groups also organized the May 31 flotilla that was intercepted by Israeli naval commandos, with the ensuing violence leading to the deaths of nine Turkish activists.

An Israeli commission’s report released Sunday found that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal according to international law, and that Israeli soldiers acted in self-defense when they fired on activists aboard the Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara.

“We have at least 15 different groups right now at one or two boats each,” Huwaida Arraf, chairperson of the Free Gaza Movement, told the Washington Times about the new flotillas. “Every meeting we have, we get one or two new country-based networks or coalitions that want to join.”

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