The vessel called Al Awda, which means the return in Arabic, started its journey in Norway and is now slowly making its way towards the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Police dinghies prevent two boats of the
Police dinghies prevent two boats of the "Ship to Gaza" flotilla to dock in Paris, France, June 17, 2018. ( Reuters )

A flotilla of small boats is slowly making its way towards the coast of the Gaza Strip. 

On board are activists from around the world trying to raise awareness about an Israeli blockade of Gaza that's been in place for more than 10 years. Today, 80 percent of people there rely on humanitarian aid to survive. 

The ship is called Al Awda, meaning the return in Arabic. It started its journey in Norway. 

TRT World's Francis Collings is on board one of the ships. He explains why it's a journey that carries a great deal of risk.

In 2010 a similar aid flotilla was stormed by Israeli commandos. 

The Mavi Marmara, the lead boat took the brunt of an assault that ended up killing 10 people, all Turkish nationals. 

Israel said their forces were attacked, but the people on board say the Israelis shot first. 

Other flotillas have been halted by the Israeli forces many nautical miles from the Gaza shore. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies