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Freedom Flotilla ships arrive in Lisbon

Two days after leaving Gijon in northern Spain Al-Awda and Freedom – two boats that are part of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza – arrived in Lisbon, Safa reported.

A statement issued by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition said that hundreds of people celebrated the arrival of the two boats, which plan to remain in Lisbon until Friday.

There are 25 pro-Palestinian activists on board the two boats which are heading to Gaza in a new attempt to break the 11-year Israeli siege.

On Sunday two other boats also part of the Freedom Flotilla arrived in Paris but the French police prevented them from stopping at the Seine River for pro-Palestine supporters to celebrate them. However, hundreds of supporters waved Palestinian flags while standing on the banks of the river.

Read: Freedom flotilla boat arrives in UK

Head of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza and co-founder of the Freedom Flotilla Zaher Birawi said that the French authorities came under pressure from the Israeli lobby when they prevented the two boats from docking on the banks of the Seine River.

"This is an attempt to undermine the increasing popular solidarity in France with Gaza and Palestine", he said, adding that the Israeli lobby "is afraid that the reality of the racist occupation state is revealed" through such grassroots movements.

"The size of the activities organised in solidarity with Palestine sends a message to the parties which impose the siege on Gaza, telling them to end their crimes and [allow] the Palestinians to move in and out of their country without restrictions", Birawi said.

Gaza has been under strict Israeli siege since mid-2007. The UN and other organisations have several times said that Gaza will be "unliveable" by 2020.

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Europe & RussiaFranceIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestinePortugalSpainUN
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