NEWS

Gaza activists skeptical about Greek proposal

Organizers of a Gaza-bound flotilla aiming to breach Israel?s sea blockade of the territory have expressed skepticism over a Greece government proposal to deliver their humanitarian aid on their behalf.

After Greece banned the flotilla from departing its ports and arresting one of the captains, Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday suggested that Greek authorities instead ferry the aid to the Palestinian Authority in cooperation with the United Nations.

Activists on Sunday appeared to react with mixed feelings.

?It is possible that this is under consideration but… that is not considered breaking the siege,? Ewa Jasiewicz, of the Free Gaza Movement, an organization behind the flotilla, was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post on Monday. ?We want to break the siege and the flotilla is not about expanding the drip of humanitarian aid to Gaza,? she said.

Organizers of the flotilla said they have not abandoned their plans to break the blockade and warned of further action for this week. Sympathizers have staged several small protests around the Greek capital, including demos in front of the public order ministry and the US Embassy in Athens.

Israel imposed the blockade in 2007 in an alleged attempt to prevent weapons reaching Hamas. It has criticized the flotilla as an act of provocation.

Nine activists aboard a Turkish vessel were killed in a raid staged by Israeli commandos aiming to thwart a similar flotilla last year.