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July 7th, 2011

GREECE – The Greek government prevented pro-Palestinian activists aboard the second Gaza flotilla, whose aim was to provide humanitarian aid, from setting sail to the Gaza strip.

  • A total of 350 activists from 22 countries aboard the flotilla were attempting to send medicine, food, and building materials to the Gaza strip. French, American and Canadian ships were part of the 10-vessel Freedom Flotilla II convoy.
  • The primary objective of the flotilla was to challenge the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.
  • Safety concerns triggered the current ban by the Greek government against mobilizing any flotilla bound for Gaza after Israeli marines killed nine people aboard the first flotilla last year.
  • Flotilla supporters have rejected the Greek government and the U.N.’s offer to offload and transport humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Original sources: Reuters; AFP; The New York Times; Washington Post; Khaleej Times; The Guardian; Le Monde; Toronto Star; The Vancouver Sun; Al Jazeera English; France24.

Analysts available for comment:

Elazar Barkan is co-director of the Center for the Study of Human Rights, and professor of International and Public Affairs, at Columbia University. He is a frequent commentator on issues related to the Israel-Palestine conflict.


Location: North America

Languages: English

Meir Javedanfar is currently the director of the Middle East Economic and Political Analysis Company (meepas), which carries out analysis of sixteen Middle Eastern countries from its offices in Tel Aviv, Israel.


Location: Middle East

Languages: English, Spanish

Reza Aslan is a Middle East analyst for CBS News, and a fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy.


Location: North America

Languages: Arabic, English

Paola Gaeta is a professor in international law at Florence University and professor of international criminal law at the Law Faculty of Geneva, in addition to being director of the LL.M. Program of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.


Location: West Europe

Languages: English; French; Italian

Megan Martin is the operations manager at Abraham’s Vision, a conflict transformation organization, which improves Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian and Israeli relations by bringing together high school and college students for conflict transformation training.


Locations: North America

Languages: English; French

Oliver McTernan is the director and co-founder of Forward Thinking, a UK-based organization that works to prevent and resolve conflict at a national and global level and to promote understanding between cultures.


Location: West Europe

Language: English

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