We're almost ready. Our vessels are being loaded with construction materials, specialized medical equipment, generators, pre-fab homes, water filtration units, and school supplies for the children. Israel allows only 81 items into Gaza, forcing the people to use tunnels to bring in supplies, barely keeping their economy at subsistence level.
When asked why they refuse to allow supplies into Gaza, Israeli authorities stated, "If we disclose what is allowed in and why... it would damage our national security and harm foreign relations." BBC, May 3, 2010
Therefore, we intend to open a sea route that will belong to the Palestinians. Gaza is the only territory on the Mediterranean that has no right to its sea, no right to fish more than a mile off its coast, no right to send out its flowers, vegetables and fruit for trade to other nations. Israel's cruel blockade has shut 1.5 million Palestinians into an open-air prison, allowing only a trickle of aid through.
We cannot stand by and watch the people slowly starve and lose hope. Since our governments appear to be impotent, we civilians from around the world are stepping up instead. We carry the hopes and dreams and prayers of thousands who have supported us over these past ten months, and we take those well wishes with us to the people of Gaza.
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So for the next few weeks as we finish loading supplies and passengers, we will upload messages and well wishes like this one. Watch for them and send your own wish to us. Become a part of this citizen's initiative by joining our Newslist, TWITTER account, Facebook page and YouTube list, all on the front page of our website.
Write to your representatives demanding they put Israel on notice for our safety and the safety of our cargo.
Then watch our journey from the live feed on our website at www.freegaza.org beginning soon.