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Daily Israel Report

Anti-Israel Scandinavian Flotilla Sets Sail for Gaza, Yet Again

In yet another attempt at breaching Israel’s borders, Scandinavian anti-Israel activists launched an “aid ship” destined for Gaza.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/8/2012, 1:56 PM

The Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel
The Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel
Israel news photo: Flash 90

In yet another attempt at breaching Israel’s borders and endangering the national security of the Jewish state, Scandinavian anti-Israel activist groups launched an “aid ship” destined for Gaza on Tuesday.

The flotilla is hoping to challenge the “Israeli blockade” and draw international attention to the conflict in a move reminiscent of the 2010 "Freedom Flotilla", organizers said, according to Reuters.

"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, terrorist supporters, claiming to be “human rights activists,” similarly sought to infiltrate Israel’s borders. In an act of self- defense, Israeli naval commandos boarded the unauthorized vessel, preventing it from reaching terrorist entities in Gaza. The incident resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists.

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

In November 2011, the Israeli navy boarded two yachts in international waters, one Canadian and one Irish, that were heading for Gaza and attempting to rally support for the “Palestinian cause.”

The SV Estelle, a 53-metre vessel backed mainly by Swedish and Norwegian groups, set 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, Reuters reported.

Israel blockades seaborne approaches to the Gaza Strip in order to prevent arms smuggling to terrorists in Gaza, who will use those weapons to perpetrate attacks against the State of Israel and Israeli civilians.