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FreeGaza Movement

Human rights group that sailed 5 times into port of Gaza.

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 For Immediate Release

January 14, 2009


(Cyprus) Lubna Masarwa, +357 97 625 828

(Cyprus) Mary Hughes, +357 99 081 767

(Gaza) Ewa Jasiewicz, +972 598 700 497

[Larnaca, Cyprus] The Free Gaza Movement vessel, SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, will resume its emergency mission to the besieged Gaza Strip at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 14, 2009. The ship will carry desperately needed doctors, journalists, human rights workers, and members of parliaments as well as medical supplies donated by the people of Greece and the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza.

After departure on January 12 at 3 pm from Larnaca Port the boat encountered problems with one of its two generators that was compounded by rough weather. For the safety of the passengers, the captain decided to return to port and the boat docked in Larnaca at about 9 pm on January 12. Thanks to the generosity and support of the people of Cyprus, the problem has been quickly repaired and the boat ready to depart.

Israeli authorities have threatened to use "any means" to keep the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY from reaching Gaza. Despite this threat and a previous attack by an Israeli war ship on our motor vessel DIGNITY, the Free Gaza Movement is determined to continue nonviolently challenging Israel's aggression and break the siege on the 1.5 million Palestinians being terrorized and slaughtered by Israel in the Gaza Strip. Free Gaza Movement organizer Huwaida Arraf said, "We will not let Israel's threats deter us. The Israeli authorities have been put on notice again of our mission; any attack by Israel on the boat will be considered a deliberate attack on unarmed civilians engaged in a humanitarian action."

The medical supplies being taken in include essential parts for ventilators, which will allow the only burn center in the Gaza Strip, at Shifa Hospital, to double its capacity, as well as medicines and basic medical supplies requested by area hospitals in Gaza.