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Int'l peace activists to set sail for besieged Gaza with medicines
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12:12, October 25, 2008

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International activists will set sail again for the Gaza Strip next week in defiance of an Israeli blockade, the Free Gaza Movement announced Friday.

Some 26 pro-Palestinian campaigners and crew members are scheduled to leave the Cypriot port of Larnaca on Oct. 28, with medicine for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza, according to a press release from the movement.

"We sail to Gaza to show the people we love and care for them," said one of the activists, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her work for peace in Northern Ireland.

"What less can we do whilst our governments remain silent and inactive in the face of such preventable suffering of the women and children of Gaza and Palestine?" she added.

Also on board are Mustafa Barghouthi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Jamal Zahalka, a member of the Israeli Knesset.

Israel sealed off crossing points into the Gaza Strip in June 2007 in response to the Islamic Hamas movement's taking over control of the strip by force. Israel has since allowed little more than essential food, aid and medical supplies into Gaza.

In August, some 46 activists from the Free Gaza Movement departed from Cyprus and succeeded in docking two wooden boats at Gaza port as Israel refrained from barring their way.

Greta Berlin, one of the organizers, said their aim was to break Israel's blockade as often as they could.

"This second trip is just one of many we intend to organize over the next year," said Berlin. "We have lawyers, members of parliament and other professionals already on our passenger lists for upcoming voyages."


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