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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Gaza boat due back in Larnaca today ]

Gaza boat due back in Larnaca today

THE THIRD boat of the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) to return from Gaza will be greeted by Palestinians from Iraq waiving olive branches at Larnaca port this morning.

The SS Dignity left Larnaca last Tuesday with 27 passengers from 13 countries on board, including Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mairead Maguire. Israel initially threatened to stop the boat and arrest its passengers but eventually sat back and gave the boat free passage into Gaza.

The FGM has long argued that Israel unlawfully controls the air, sea and land routes in and out of Gaza following the election of Hamas to power. The peace activists argue the stranglehold over Gaza is tantamount to the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians.

This is the second voyage to Gaza, following the groundbreaking trip last August. Like before, 11 human rights activists accompanied Palestinian fishermen as they fished within Gazan territorial waters in an attempt to provide a form of protection against indiscriminate attacks by the Israeli navy.

According to the international monitors, the navy spent six hours on Friday terrorising the five boats while they were fishing nine miles from the coastline. A witness said the navy machine gunned, sprayed with water cannons and dropped bombs into the water less than a meter away from many of the fishing boats.

According to David Schermerhorn, one of the internationals on board: “Three naval vessels attacked us with machine gun fire and water cannons. The water from the cannon was so fierce, it blasted a lot of the equipment overboard as well as my GPS locator.”

The activists said they took audio and video recordings of the attacks, which document “the brutality against the fishing industry in Gaza”.

The Oslo agreement gave Gaza a 20-mile limit to fish, which the Israeli navy has cut down to six as part of its blockade of Gaza following the Hamas election, the FGM argues.

The SS Dignity is due to arrive at 6am today, carrying 23 of the original passengers plus a student who has been prevented from leaving Gaza to study medicine in Belgium.

According to one of the organisers, Greta Berlin, dozens of Palestinian refugees from Iraq will stand outside the gates of the port, holding olive branches and signs to greet them.

“They stand there in support of this mission and to also tell the world that they want to go home… to Palestine. Many of them will be displaying the names of the villages and towns that were taken by the Israelis over the past 60 years,” said Berlin.

The plans are for the SS Dignity to return to Gaza within the next two weeks, she added.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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