Saturday, January 16, 2021

Flotilla for Gaza prevented to dock in Paris

By Henry James - June 26, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza] [Freedom Flotilla] [fishermen]

A Flotilla navigating the Seine River, destined for Gaza, was stopped in Paris by police on June 17. 

The boats Falestine and the Mairead first arrived without any trouble in Asnières, a Paris suburb, where two Paris counsellors Raphaëlle Primet (Communist Party) and Jerome Gleizes (Ecologic party) embarked, before the boats continued on their way. A representative of an NGO platform for Palestine was also on board.
Arriving in another Paris suburb of Suresnes, the Police were waiting for the Flotilla. Submarines and divers were also ready to step in. The Police Headquarters orders prohibited the boats to cross Paris with banners for Gaza and Palestinian flags deployed. Israel’s Embassy in Paris had pressured the French Government to prevent the Flotilla to cross Paris days before they were scheduled to dock.
On the dock, people chanted in support of Gaza and the Flotilla, and at the same time denounced the French government’s attitude towards the situation. At the same time, close to The Arab World Institute in Paris, tens of people gathered to welcome the boats and show support for this operation.
All of the boats of the Flotilla were meant to join in the Mediterranean Sea. The president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS), Bertrand Heilbronn, announced in a statement; “The organisers of this flotilla are scandalised by the politics of the French State who is refusing in his capital two peaceful boats on a solidarity mission with the 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, jailed by a blockade condemned by international community, including France.”
The purpose of the Flotilla was to defend Palestinians living in Gaza, subject to a land, air and sea blockade for more than 11 years. The Flotilla’s goal was to place under the spotlight the situation for Gazan fisherman, who are often attacked by Israeli Marines.
The Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1993,  gave Gazans a 20 nautical miles fishing area - about 36 kilometres - though Israel has continuously reduced and constricted the space. Today, Gazan’s fisherman are forced to use 3 nautical miles - about 5.4 kilometres - leaving them too close to the coast to catch enough fish.

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