Preparations are currently underway in the Gaza Strip to receive an international flotilla of ships aimed at breaking the siege. Expected to arrive in the middle of the coming month, ships from Turkey, Ireland and Greece will bring much needed building materials and educational supplies among other things. In addition the fleet will be carrying approximately 500 international activists standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their cause.
Among the various necessary preparations are arrangements for the anchoring of vessels in Gaza'a fishing port. Engineers assert that the ships will be too large to be accommodated in the port as it currently is, and a process of deepening and cleaning the harbour basin has begun. Vessels of the size expected need depths of more than seven metres to dock comfortably. The project is now in full swing and is being carried out in a co-ordinated effort between Gaza's Ministry of Works and Turkey. The first phase is nearing completion and work has begun on the second phase, however, time is of the essence and the task at hand is immense.
The official spokesman for the Popular Committee against the Siege said that about a dozen ships are expected to arrive in Gaza next month including three cargo ships and seven belonging to the Gaza Solidarity Campaign. The ships will carry the building materials and educational supplies that are badly needed in Gaza such as stationary, books, pens and equipment for the increasing number of disabled people living in the territory following the recent war.
Along with the ships' cargo, its 500 strong crew will deliver moral support to the people of Gaza. In addition, the mission will deliver a strong message against the blockade and draw the world's attention to this continuing crime.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad