Another protest flotilla is due to sail to Gaza this week, to highlight severe and inhumane restrictions imposed on Palestinians by the Israeli regime. You may remember, last year's flotilla was boarded in international waters by Israeli commandos, who then shot dead 9 protesters. No commandos were killed, and Israel's assessment of its soldiers' actions was 'self defence'.
This year the Israelis are already resorting to threats and intimidation to prevent media coverage of what might transpire. About 10 ships are expected to sail, carrying a total of 500 passengers. These people will be provided with T-shirts bearing the message 'Unarmed Civilian'. An Israeli spokesman has said that journalists who travel on the flotilla will be breaking Israeli law, and so will be banned from Israel for 10 years. In addition, their equipment (eg cameras, etc) will be confiscated, as well as 'other measures' being taken. An 87 year old Holocaust survivor will sail with the protesters, as well as 3 members of the European parliament and 1 member of the Israeli parliament.