A group of Jewish activists have set sail from northern Cyprus on a voyage to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The crew of nine from several countries — including Israel — say they want to highlight the suffering endured by Palestinians living in the territory.
The vessel set sail from Famagusta on a 350 kilometre trip expected to take 24 hours. The oldest on board is an 82 year old survivor of the holocaust.
Pro-Palestinian Jewish activist Tamar Shapir said:
“Israeli propaganda is always self-defensive. Israel tries to be the victim to put itself as a victim, this is what I received as a child all the way throughout growing (up) until I went to the army to fight, in order to be this victim that protects himself.”
They are carrying a small symbolic cargo of aid. An Israeli government spokesman refused to say whether or not the vessel would be intercepted.
Israel’s Gaza policy has been under international scrutiny since marines killed nine Turkish activists on an aid mission in May.