Aid convoy set for Gaza sail in troubled waters

Aid convoy set for Gaza sail in troubled waters

The ships, led by a Turkish vessel with 600 people on board, were anchored in international waters off Cyprus. Organisers had said that the ships had set sail but they later said the convoy had moved 25 nautical miles from its initial position and was now stationary.

“It was a strategic decision to move,” said Greta Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement, an organiser.

Israel has already said it will prevent the convoy from reaching Hamas-ruled Gaza, a sliver of desert territory which Israel has blockaded for three years. Israeli naval commandos have held drills to practise boarding and searching the ships.

Activists face arrest and deportation, and their cargo will be confiscated for possible transfer by Israel to Gaza.

Berlin said Israel risked a public relations disaster if it tried to intercept the activists. “The only scenario which makes any sense is for them to stop being the bully of the Middle East and let us go through,” she said.

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