Turkish Humanitarian Ships Blocked from Gaza, Flags Removed

Ships that wanted to go from Turkey to Gaza with help from people have been told they can’t go, said The Associated Press.

“The Freedom Flotilla Coalition got a call from the Guinea Bissau International Ships Registry (GBISR) on Thursday, asking to check our main ship – Akdenez,” said the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, the group in charge of the ships, in a press release on Saturday.

“We were surprised because our ship had already passed all the checks needed, but we said okay,” they said. “An inspector came on Thursday evening. But on Friday afternoon, before the check was finished, the GBISR, for a political reason, said they were taking away the Guinea Bissau flag from two of our ships. One of them was our cargo ship, which already had over 5000 tons of aid for the people of Gaza.”

Turkish Humanitarian Ships Blocked from Gaza, Flags Removed
Ships Turkey to Gaza (Credits: Times of Israel)

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition said in the release that “without a flag, we can’t sail.” They also accused Guinea-Bissau of helping Israel hurt the people in Gaza.

Last week, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told The Hill that they will work with the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) to send help to Gaza by sea.

“This is a hard thing to do that needs many groups to work together, and we’re still talking about it. Making sure aid workers are safe is really important for getting help to Gaza, and we’re asking for ways to do that,” said a spokesperson from USAID.

U.S. and WFP officials are figuring out how they can give help to Palestinian people “in a fair and neutral way,” they said.

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