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Maan: Siege-breaking voyage to Gaza delayed by bad weather

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A planned siege-breaking voyage to Gaza has been delayed by inclement weather at the Island of Crete, an official said on Tuesday.

Jamal Al-Khudari, chairman of the Popular Committee Against the Siege, and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council said that he spoke with the coordinator of the Free Gaza Movement, the group that is planning to sail to Gaza’s Mediterranean port in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade.

Paul Larudee, one of the co-founders of the Free Gaza Movement, and spokesperson Osama Qashu’ informed Al-Khudari that tremendous winds and bad weather prevented the ship from leaving Cyprus, then to Crete and on to Gaza.

Meteorologists expect the weather to lift on Saturday. The boat is expected to arrive in Gaza next Tuesday or Wednesday. A mass welcoming ceremony is planned for the activists in Gaza.

European, American, Palestinian, and Israeli activists are aboard the ship, which s carrying a delivery of medical supplies. One Jewish Holocaust survivor, 84-year-old Hedy Epstein, is among the activists.

Israel once again impose a total closure on Gaza’s borders on Tuesday, stopping all movement of vital supplies into the Strip. Israel began its blockade of Gaza in June 2006, trapping 1.5 million Palestinians inside.