Irish activist seeks L.American support to break Gaza blockade

11:32, October 08, 2009      

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A Free Gaza Movement activist on Wednesday appealed for Latin American support to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Caoimhe Butterly, an Irish human rights activist, said her organization was seeking support from politicians and celebrities as well as their Latin American peers here.

The Free Gaza Movement, an international human rights organization formed in 2006 by a coalition of pro-Palestinian human rights groups and activists to draw attention to the violence of the Israeli blockade by sailing ships to Gaza, is preparing another such humanitarian sea voyage.

"We are here in Latin America because we are lacking regional participation," the activist said. "It is very important for us to have the experience, because the culture of resistance is strong here, like in Palestine."

The Free Gaza Movement has so far broken the Israeli blockade five times between August and December 2008 by dispatching a small fleet of five ships from Greece and Cyprus to the Gaza Strip.

The international community had been sailing aid to the Gaza Strip since 1967 before the blockade was imposed after Hamas was elected in 2006.

However, the movement has seen three of its most recent attempts fail.

Butterly added that her organization was seeking support from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela this month. Next month, the Free Gaza Movement would solicit support from Cuba.

The Free Gaza Movement aims to stop Israel from harassing pro-Palestinian activists. It also aims at orchestrating a broader media coverage of its mission, which Butterly characterized as peaceful, humanitarian and legal.

Source: Xinhua
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