Israeli Students Plan Own Flotilla to Meet Next Gaza Convoy at Sea

Student Union chairman says 400 yacht owners interested in initiative to sail to northern Turkey or Cyprus.

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Israel's National Student Union is planning a flotilla with hundreds of yachts from Israel to meet at sea any new humanitarian aid flotillas heading toward the Gaza Strip.

According to Boaz Toporovsky, the union's chairman, 400 yacht owners have expressed interest in the initiative, which is expected to start up in two weeks.

"Our wish is to talk with the members of the flotilla, to see if they want to talk to us, and to ask them why the problems of Israel, in Gaza and Palestine, are disturbing them," Toporovsky told Haaretz last night.

"We would ask why they are not talking about the Kurdish minority or the Armenians that were murdered or many other problems? We want to expose the truth, this hypocrisy and the absurdity."

Even though there are reports from Turkey, Iran and European activists that ideas exist for another flotilla to Gaza, it appears there are no concrete plans to break the blockade in the coming two weeks.

The Free Gaza movement has begun another round of fundraising for an aid flotilla, and there is talk that a three-ship mission will be organized.

Meanwhile, the student union and a nongovernmental organization of former navy personnel are trying to raise funds for leasing a ship that will travel to Turkey to protest in favor of the Kurds.

Toporovsky says that "we thought of an idea of sailing to Turkey or to the northern part of Cyprus, or to southern Turkey, where there is a concentration of Kurds."

Israeli students demonstrate in favor of the IDF's raid of the Gaza flotilla, outside the Technion in Haifa on June 2, 2010.Credit: Tomer Neuberg

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