A Swedish ship, which was set to sail to Gaza as part of an aid flotilla at the end of the week, has been sabotaged, according to reports.
The Juliano’s propellers were badly damaged while in its berth in Greece where it waits to depart in the Ship to Gaza convoy which aims to break the Israeli-imposed blockade.
The boat, which is one of the smallest in the Freedom Flotilla, is jointly owned by the Greek, Norwegian and Swedish Ship to Gaza organisations, and was set to carry 25 activists. It is thought that the damage can be repaired in time for planned departure tomorrow, but at a cost EUR 12,000.
Speaking on Monday, the organisation’s Swedish spokesman Mattias Gardell called for action. “It is time for the international community to put their foot down and say: “It’s enough!” he said. “All we know is that Israel is doing everything in its power to slow us down,” added Norwegian spokesperson, Torstein Dahle, to Norwegian daily Dagbladet.
Mikael Lofgren, the organisation’s press co-ordinator, said a solution to the problem is simple. “It is not so much a question of dealing with the sabotage to our boat. The impending question is really to urge Israel to end the blockade – then our problem would disappear by itself,” he told The Local.
The aid convoy, which is expected to carry 20 Swedes, is the second international attempt to sail to Gaza. The first Freedom Flotilla had to be abandoned in May last year after armed Israeli forces stormed a boat, killing nine activists. The bloody action was widely condemned throughout the world.