The Free Gaza and Liberty have left the Gaza Strip, carrying a few passengers with them back to Cyprus. That the Israeli authorities have allowed them to do this speaks volumes to what true peaceful resistance can achieve. Rather than risking a no-win situation had the Israeli Admin attempted to stop them with either force or simply blockading the boats, they erred to caution and let it happen. In their own words, the Israeli Authorities said the decision to allow the boats to pass was to deny a 'propaganda' victory for the protestors, which sounds like sour grapes to me, but still better than what could have transpired.
The group plans to send Free Gaza back to the Strip within the next few weeks, bringing along much needed medical supplies. Hopefully this next trip will also go off without a hitch, establishing a permanent link for Gaza to the outside world.
Larudee said one of the two boats would make the trip back to Gaza in two to four weeks time loaded with medical supplies.
He said the boat would ferry more Palestinians to the island on the return trip after the passengers are vetted to ensure they have the appropriate travel documents.
Larudee said organizers would coordinate with Cypriot authorities to ensure no Palestinians are turned away.
Cyprus, which lies some 240 nautical miles west of Gaza, is generally viewed as sympathetic towards Palestinians. Members of a Cypriot peace group, with close ties to the present communist administration, met activists who arrived in the port of Larnaca on Friday.
Congratulations are in order for all those involved with this truly humanitarian enterprise - well done!
Just as a side note: Jeff Halper was released after one day of detainment. No charges were laid against him, but the police in Sderot are intending to file an indictment against him (more sour grapes me thinks).
Good results all around.