The California-based Free Palestine Movement is planning to make yet another attempt to deliver aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. Though they were involved in the May 2010 Freedom Flotilla attempt, their next effort will be a major change from the sea-based attempts, which the Israeli Navy has gotten increasingly aggressive at stopping. The next time, they will send a plane.
The organization says that it intends to enter Gazan air space without entering either Israeli or Egyptian airspace. The advantage to this process is that Israel can’t very well board a plane in mid-air.
The significant downside is that the Gaza Strip has no airport. Though an airport was opened in 1998, it was closed in 2001 after an Israeli attack and, after the 2009 Israeli invasion and blockade the Gazans have largely stripped the former runway’s stone in an attempt to reconstruct the strip without the ability to import materials.
But the Free Palestine Movement says the “right aircraft can land almost anywhere in Gaza,” and seems to be eager to try this rather unique approach to delivering aid. The group has also promised to be “totally transparent” to make sure the plane is not seen as a threat.
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