Ex-US politician joins Gaza aid convoy
A former US political figure will join a Gaza-bound vessel although the State Department has criticized his act.
Samuel Hart, a former US ambassador to Ecuador, is one of the passengers of The Audacity of Hope, the American-flagged ship that is a part of the Freedom Flotilla II, which will depart Greece for the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
The US State Department warned Americans that the Gaza coast is “dangerous and volatile,” Israel National News reported on Monday.
Hart, who is joining the Free Palestine Movement, said the Israeli blockade “limits food to a little bit better than starvation levels.”
The Israeli Navy has announced that it would confront the Freedom Flotilla II convoy, which will comprise 15 ships, 22 organizations and around 1,500 activists.
In an essay explaining his participation, Hart wrote, “What did the residents of Gaza do to deserve such punishment? The honest answer is that they voted in a fair election in 2006 for Hamas, a political party which also engages in armed resistance to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.”
The former US politician says he has always felt that Israel has been “a little bit of a burr in the saddle of US foreign policy.”
On Monday, the international coalition organizing the Freedom Flotilla II held a press conference in Athens with representatives from all of the boats. The US was represented by Ann Wright, a former State Department official, and Alice Walker, an African-American author.
After the press conference, a street demonstration was held in support of the humanitarian move.
Some 1.5 million people in Gaza are being denied their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.