Israel’s blockade to be challenged as Scandinavian ship sails to Gaza

The SV Estelle, boarded by Swedish & Norwegian groups, sets sail from Oslo as organizers hope other ships will join on its way to Gaza.

By Reuters


Scandinavian activist groups are launching an aid ship destined for Gaza on Tuesday, hoping to challenge the Israeli blockade and draw international attention to the conflict in a move reminiscent of the 2010 “Freedom Flotilla”, organizers said.

The SV Estelle, a 53-metre Irish vessel

“We have the same goal as the previous flotillas, to put an end to the blockade of Gaza by challenging the Israeli navy,” said Torstein Dahle, the leader of the Norwegian section of the activist group “Ship to Gaza.”

“This time around it will be an easy task for the Israelis to stop us because we will be so few and strictly non-violent,” Dahle told Reuters at Oslo harbor.

In May 2010, several aid ships trying to run Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip were halted by Israeli naval commandos, who killed nine pro-Palestinian Turks aboard one of the vessels.

A second convoy, planned a year later, did not sail after the organizers said they had been sabotaged.

In November 2011, the Israeli navy boarded two yachts in international waters, one Canadian and one Irish, carrying pro-Palestinian activists and medical supplies and heading for Gaza to challenge the Israeli blockade.

The SV Estelle, a 53-metre vessel backed mainly by Swedish and Norwegian groups, will sail from Oslo on Tuesday, and organizers hope several other ships will join it during its journey before it reaches waters off Gaza in October.

Israel says it blockades seaborne approaches to the Gaza Strip to prevent arms smuggling to the Palestinians.


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  1. Steinar Belland says:

    If they have the same goal as the previous flotillas who had terrorists on board, they should be ashamed of themselves. Anyhow, challanging a country who is protecting their citizen’s from terror is stupid. Think they should open theyr eyes and stop listening to the lies about Israel.

  2. Shani Rantalainen says:

    Amein Steinar!

    I´m deeply ashamed of the norweigian and swedish people who still refuses to listen to the truth about Israel. Shame on them!
    And I really hope that there will not be any hidden weapons and hidden terrorists on that boat!

  3. Markus Petälä says:

    I agree, but still…when we allready knows, that IDF will check the boat i rather hope that there is some weapons, cause it’s better for media to have a headlines like “Swedish gangsters tried to smuggle machine guns to the terrotists” What would king say after that i wonder.

    • Very True indeed. Those headlines always sound legitimizing. But the problem is that even if the first 100 ships are only ‘tourist’, and the blockade is dropped only based on them tricking us, what’s to stop the true ‘nature of Hamas’ from returning to their original mandate: To kill Jews? Sooner or later, weapons WILL be shipped to Gaza…..especially if Egypt actually do seal the tunnels as they threatened!!

  4. Magic Man in the Sky says:

    Tow them into an Israeli port and confiscate the vessel. This is a legal blockade. Blockade-running is an illegal activity.

  5. Magic Man in the Sky says:

    If they resist, give them 30 minutes to abandon ship and sink it with a torpedo…….time to get real folks. This is a war.

  6. What facilitated the UN’s decision that the blockade was legal, as well as the boarding of the Marmara, is that Israel followed ‘the letter of the law’….as is explained in this lecture by Prof. of Law Ruth Lapidot:

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