Freedom and Al-Awda, two of the Freedom Flotilla campaign’s vessels left Qadish port southwest of Spain and headed to Port of Cagliari in the Italian island of Sardinia on their journey to break the 11-year blockade by the Israeli occupation on the Gaza Strip.
Crowds gathered to greet the crew in Spain and help a short procession in support of the Palestinian people and to call for an end to the siege on Gaza.
Two other sailing boats who will join the Flotilla will arrive in the French city of Lyon after crossing the Seine this evening.
They will then leave the port tomorrow evening to join the Freedom and Al-Awda (The Return) ships in mid-July on one of the Italian islands.
France did not allow the boats to stop in the capital Paris, activists believe this is following pressure from pro-Israel lobby groups.
Zaher Birawi, head of the International Committee for Breaking Gaza Siege and founder member of Freedom Flotilla Coalition, hailed the solidarity efforts exerted in all cities and ports they have already visited. He expressed hope that these efforts will succeed in pressuring politicians in Europe to end Gaza siege.
The Gaza Strip has enduring an 11-year Israeli siege which has limited electricity supplies and the delivery of vital medicines, leaving residents struggling to survive. The UN has warned that Gaza could become “uninhabitable” by 2020.