Activists: ‘Gaza aid flotilla was sabotaged’

Activists on board Gaza-bound flotilla say it was sabotaged by hostile divers hinting Israel’s involvement

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Dror Feiler, a pro-Palestine activist on board the Gaza-bound Swedish Marianne claims that the vessel was sabotaged by "unknown individuals," while it was at the Greek port.

The act of sabotage was “clearly the work of professionals,” he adds.

The three-ship Flotilla is expected to reach Gaza in three days, aiming to break the Israeli blockade.

Israel-born Swedish activist Feiler (64) spoke to Radio al Shams, an Arab-Israeli radio station, expressing that while one of the ships was at a Greek port, an unidentified individual tried to damage one of the ship’s propellers.

“Unknown forces” did a job that “only professionals could do,” he added, and asserted that if the flotilla had set sail in its present condition, it would have sunk in the middle of the sea, drowning all 70 activists on-board.

“Somebody went underneath the ship at night and sabotaged its propellers, just like they sabotaged the same ship in 2011,” he said, going on to say that there are “dark forces” that are trying to stop them.

The crew noticed the water seeping into the vessel as they began to set off. Consequently, they changed to a different boat.

The Swedish ship Marianne, bound to carry aid to Gaza, set sail from Sweden about six weeks ago, is currently in waters south of Crete.

During its journey, the ship did not pull over at any European ports, fearing the authorities may prevent it from pursuing its journey.

The flotilla is bound to arrive at Gaza in three days, five years since the Mavi Marmara incident took place in which nine activists were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces.

Alongside the humanitarian aid, the Swedish Marianne is also taking fishing boats, so they can be used by local fishermen in Gaza.

Despite the sabotage, activists are continuing their journey undeterred, saying “The most important thing is we get going and not be delayed too long.”

A similar incident had taken place in 2011, as another Gaza-bound flotilla was to set sail from a Greek port, it too was sabotaged.

Feiler who was born in Israel renounced his Israeli citizenship three decades ago and currently resides in Sweden.

The activist who was a candidate for the Left Party in the 2010 Swedish general elections has taken part in previous Gaza aid flotilla operations, during which he was arrested by Israeli authorities before being deported.  

TRTWorld and agencies