An all-women flotilla is sailing to Gaza aiming to break the Israeli blockade.Prominent members in the attempt include Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead MacGuire, retired U.S. army colonel and State Department official Ann Wright, parliamentarian Marama Davidson from New Zealand’s Green Party, and playwright Naomi Wallace. Barcelona's mayor participated in the launch event.
Some 20 activists of different nationalities set sail for the Gaza Strip from Barcelona on Wednesday.
"We think that through this act organised by women, we can give more visibility to the important role of Palestinian women in the fight for freedom," said Zohar Chamberlain, one of the organisers, just before two yachts left the Spanish city.
The flotilla that set sail from Barcelona, named "Women's Boat to Gaza", is part of the wider Freedom Flotilla Coalition that consists of pro-Palestinian crews that frequently sail to Gaza to try and break the decade-long blockade.
There were two boats in the flotilla, named Zaytouna (Olive) and Amal (Hope.)
However, the Amal had engine problems. The Zaytouna stopped off in Messina, Italy this morning and they are trying to find a replacement boat, attempting to raise $67,000 to have one ready by today.
So far they raised about $2500.
They are not bringing any humanitarian aid as far as I can tell. It is purely a political action meant to create scenes of Israel Navy sailors physically stopping the boat from approaching Gaza.