Yemen News Agency ( SABA)
Yemen plans flotilla to break Gaza blockade

Yemen plans flotilla to break Gaza blockade


By Abdu Aiyash

SANA'A, July 16 (Saba)- A broad campaign has started in the capital Sana'a for collecting donations for preparing and sending a four-ship flotilla to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The campaign was officially inaugurated by Rashad al-Alimi, deputy Prime Minister for Defence and Security Affairs.

The idea of launching the ships was proposed by Sheikh Abdul-Majid al-Zindani at a public rally in Sana'a in solidarity with the Freedom Flotilla, when it was attacked by the Israeli forces.

MP Mohammad al-Hazmi, who participated in the Freedom Flotilla and who was arrested by Israel along with two other MPs and a Yemeni activist, said: "Since we returned to Sana'a and were received by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, we have proposed the topic of sending Yemeni ships for breaking the Gaza blockade to President Saleh. So he accepted this, and the Yemeni Popular Committee for the Support of the Palestinian People has adopted this very strongly and enthusiastically." Harmonious positions

"The official position is in harmony with the popular position, and the Palestinian cause is the uniting cause for all Yemenis. Therefore, we find that Yemenis - on the official and popular levels - support the Palestinian cause, the right to resistance, and the right of return, the liberation of Palestine, and the establishment of an independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital", Al-Hazmi added.

On the number of participants in the flotilla, Al-Hazmi said: "I would not be exaggerating if I said that tens of thousands of Yemenis want to participate in the Yemeni ships to break the Gaza blockade. Even women have demanded that there should be a place for them in the flotilla. Men and women are greatly yearning, and, in fact, some people are begging to take part in the flotilla, and some other people are collecting money for the flotilla on condition that they should participate in it."

On fears that they will face an attack by Israel, Al-Hazmi said: "The Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla has made us more determined to participate many times to break the Gaza blockade and face the Israeli arrogance and tyranny. We can only achieve our objectives by sacrifices, steadfastness, and patience."

MP Al-Hazmi noted that he and 93 MPs have submitted a request to the parliament to send an official parliamentary delegation from Yemen to the Gaza Strip to voice the solidarity of Yemen - people, parliament, and state - with the people of Gaza in their goal to break the blockade and gain liberation from the Israeli occupation. Readiness for sacrifice

For his part, Abd-al-Qawi al-Shumayri, general coordinator of the Yemeni flotilla, said that the Yemeni flotilla is in the context of international moves to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip. These moves have emerged and grown since the Israeli aggression against the Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010.

Al-Shumayri added that "what is required is to purchase four ships, and not to lease them. The cost of each ship, with a capacity 1,000 tonnes, is around $1 million. Therefore, we mainly depend on collecting donations from the members of the Yemeni people, who interact with any matter of concern to Palestine and Gaza and who sacrifice everything precious to champion their Palestinian brothers."

He called on Yemeni expatriates in the countries of the world to contribute to the Yemeni flotilla. He said that businessmen and benevolent people from the Gulf states are also called upon to participate in sending the Yemeni flotilla and help in lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

He noted that the flotilla has set 1 August 2010 as the date for its departure to the Gaza strip. He said that the participants in the Yemeni flotilla will represent all groups of the Yemeni people, including political, ideological, and social parties and trends, including officials and party figures.

On fears that the flotilla and those onboard it will face an Israeli attack, Al-Shumayri said: "We are ready to sacrifice blood, and not only money."

He pointed out that the main challenge is to fight the Israeli arrogance, expose its aggression, and break its unjust blockade on the Palestinian people.

Source: website

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