Ex-Tunisian Pres. to Sail on Third Gaza Flotilla

Muncef Marzouki says he will be on ships seeking to breach Israel's legal naval blockade of Hamas stronghold by mid 2015.

Ari Yashar ,

Muncef Marzouki, Mahmoud Abbas
Muncef Marzouki, Mahmoud Abbas

The "Freedom Flotilla" campaign aiming to breach Israel's naval blockade of the Hamas terrorist stronghold of Gaza - a blockade barring weapons influx that is fully legal under international law - is gathering a new star cast for its third attempt, and has the former Tunisian president literally on board.

Muncef Marzouki, who served in the presidential post following the "Arab Spring" from 2011 to 2014, promised to take part in the third flotilla in coming months, according to a Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) statement on Monday cited by the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency.

Marzouki voiced his support of the flotillas at the World Social Forum in Tunis last week, adding that he plans to set sail with the next one.

FFC has said the third "Freedom Flotilla" is aiming to head for Gaza "within the first half of 2015, with at least three ships."

"Our flotillas will continue to sail until the illegal blockade of Gaza is permanently lifted," added the organization.

Marzouki isn't to be the only highlighter on the flotilla according to Ziad al-Aloul, chairman of the Palestinian Forum in Britain, who said other political, religious and public figures will be on board.

The first flotilla was the infamous 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla. When the ships taking part refused to stop IDF soldiers boarded, upon which they were assaulted by the "humanitarian" activists wielding knives, iron bars and other lethal weapons.

The soldiers were forced to open fire to save their lives, killing ten of their assailants and sparking an international media backlash.

Despite the supposed "humanitarian" aims of the effort, Israel found the flotilla in fact was not carrying any humanitarian aid, or any other type of supplies for that matter.

The danger posed by the flotilla in seeking to break Israel's naval blockade was given the most clearest expression last March, when Israel seized an Iranian shipment of highly advanced weaponry on the Klos C ship.

A second flotilla was planned for 2011 but never made it near Gaza, after Greek authorities blocked the ships from departing Athens.

In contrast to the vocal condemnation against Israel's naval blockade, little has been made of Egypt's siege against the Hamas stronghold from Sinai, which recently has included the expulsion of thousands of Gazans in creating a massive buffer zone.