Activists plan to send Gaza cement, in violation of Israel blockade
Boats to attempt to bring building materials into Gaza, currently banned over fears of possible military use.
Activists campaigning for an end to Gaza's blockade by Israel will sail to the Hamas-run enclave from Cyprus despite the presence of the Israeli navy, they said on Thursday.
Two boats, including one carrying cement and building supplies -- materials not permitted in by Israel over fears that they could be used for military purposes -- will sail from Cyprus on June 25, the multi-national Free Gaza Movement said.
"We are taking 15 tons of cement, which is just a token of how much the Palestinians need, because the Israelis won't allow building supplies into Gaza," said Greta Berlin, a representative of the group.
The group started regular shuttles to Gaza from Cyprus in August 2008, but was turned back by the Israeli navy on its last journey in mid-January of this year.
Israel tightened a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after the Islamist Hamas took control of the enclave, a strip of land that is home to 1.5 million people.
Israeli forces bombed and then invaded Gaza in late December 2008 in a bid to rout out militants lobbing rockets into Israel, badly battering its already decrepit infrastructure.