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Entries in Maritime Blockade (1)

Wednesday
Jun222011

State Department Warns Americans Not to Participate in Gaza Flotilla

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Another "Free Gaza" flotilla is scheduled to depart soon and could arrive as soon as this weekend, with the aim once again of breaking Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza.
 
In a travel warning Wednesday the State Department said, “U.S. citizens are advised against traveling to Gaza by any means, including via sea.  Previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea have been stopped by Israeli naval vessels and resulted in the injury, death, arrest and deportation of U.S. citizens.  U.S. citizens participating in any effort to reach Gaza by sea should understand that they may face arrest, prosecution and deportation by the Government of Israel.”
 
A flotilla that took place last year turned deadly when Israeli commandos stormed the ships, resulting in the deaths of nine activists, including one American, on May 31.
 
The U.S. and other countries have been engaged in intense diplomacy to try and prevent the flotilla from departing. Those efforts have been at least partially effective, as the Turkish government has recently warned activists not to participate.
 
Still, ships are expected to leave from there and others from Greece. There are reports that 36 Americans plan to take part this year. One boat is called “The Audacity of Hope,” named after President Obama’s memoir. Unlike last year’s flotilla which bore tons of aid for Gaza, this year's organizers are reportedly planning to deliver thousands of letters of support for the Palestinians.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio