Greek authorities ban Freedom Flotilla II vessel from leaving port

Greek authorities banned another vessel of the Freedom Flotilla II from leaving its port city of Perama, the country’s coast guards said.

The Sierra-Leone-flagged Juliano passenger boat was not allowed to leave the port of Perama near Athens over flaws in the vessel’s equipment.

“As soon as the flaws are fixed, a permission to leave for another Greek port will be issued, if requested. A permission to sail towards Gaza will not be issued,” the coast guards department said in a statement.

Greek authorities have already intercepted two vessels – the Audacity of Hope and Tahrir – from at least 10 ships in the flotilla. The coast guards banned other ships from heading towards Gaza from its ports.

Israel cut off access to the Gaza Strip in the middle of 2006 after Palestinian Islamists abducted Israeli serviceman Gilad Shalit. Israel has since threatened to thwart any attempts to approach the enclave from sea and urged humanitarian vessels to unload their aid at other ports.

Human rights and pro-Palestinian activists have been campaigning to end the blockade and attempting to send humanitarian aid to the enclave for years.

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