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French boat leaves Greek waters for Gaza

French boat leaves Greek waters for Gaza
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While Greek authorities are trying to prevent a `peace flotilla` bound for Gaza from leaving port, a French vessel is reported to have left Greek waters.

The boat is one of several attempting to make the voyage, to highlight the effect an Israeli blockade is having on Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

The American captain of “The Audacity of Hope”, John Klusmire, appeared in court in Piraeus charged with trying to leave port without permission and endangering the lives of his passengers.

His colleague Jane Hirschmann said: ‘I think they are using our captain as an example to try to prevent other captains from taking ships to Gaza from Greece. There has been enormous pressure put on Greece by both the Israeli government and the US government and that’s why this case has become so politicised.’

A small number of demonstrators staged a sit-in at Spain’s embassy in Athens, demanding that Madrid intervene to secure clearance for their Spanish boat being held up in Crete.

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