The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza,(ECESG) one of the organizers of the Freedom Flotilla coalition announced that the European participation in the flotilla , slated to set sail to Gaza early next year, has increased. Mazen Khaheel,the coordinator of the European campaign said that “ most the participants in Freedom Flotilla II came from the European countries, in general, in addition to vessels from Asia and America”. He added “ actually we have more than ten European countries participating with vessels from Belgium, Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, and Switzerland, while other delegations will participate from other European countries”. He explained that many big coalitions were formed in different countries to end the siege on Gaza, as these coalitions will represent all world’s continents and will exert all efforts to end the heinous siege imposed on the 1.5 million people “ in the coastal enclave. He noted that great popular celebrations will be organized each time a vessel will depart to participate in the Gaza-bound flotilla, pointing that the supportive institutions and organizations to Freedom Flotilla II is more than one thousand from various parts of the world. Khaheel also explained that the delay of launching the flotilla was to make it possible for a bigger number of vessels to participate and to complete all legal and technical arrangements necessary to join the flotilla, specially for the parties participating for the first time. He went on saying that the media coverage to the event will be very distinguished this time, as 40 media institution have applied to participate, in spite of the Israeli attack that targeted the Freedom Flotilla I and resulted in killing 9 of the Turkish solidarity activists. Mr.Khaheel reaffirmed that the campaign is seeking to have the biggest number of media representatives to unmask any reckless actions against the solidarity activists and peaceful supporters coming from all parts of the world. He elaborated that the Freedom Flotilla will carry thousands tons of construction material to enable the Palestinian citizen from rebuilding his home , and to export goods that were produced in Gaza to world countries ,as a new move to break its siege.
A previous post reported that European Campaign to End the Siege On Gaza (ECESG) planned to submit a complaint to the International Criminal Court regarding the June Gaza flotilla.
A NEFA Foundation report documents the numerous ties between the ECESG and the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. In addition to his role as chairman of the ECESG, Arafat Madi (aka Arafat Madi Shoukri) is the executive director of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) which has also strong ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. Two PRC directors are also directors of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), generally regarded as part of the UK. Muslim Brotherhood. PRC director Ghassan Four is also a Trustee of INTERPAL, a key member of the Union of Good and part of the Muslim Brotherhood Hamas fund-raising network . PRC director Zaher Birawi is a Trustee of Education Aid for Palestine (EAP), also a part of the Union of Good. Mr. Birawi is also head of programming for Al-Hiwar TV which frequently features MB/Hamas individuals and organizations and was founded by Azzam Al-Tamimi, a U.K Muslim Brotherhood leader and close to Hamas. An Israeli web site, known to be close to Israeli military intelligence, has reported that Mr. Birawi, along with another PRC Trustee, are “past Hamas operatives who found refuge in Britain in the early nineties.”
The PRC has also been the co-sponsor of several conferences in Europe associated with Hamas. For example, the PRC was the co-sponsor of the Sixth Palestinians In Europe Conference which featured Nihad Awad of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), former US. Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Akram Al-Adlouni, and Raed Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel and close to Hamas. The 2009 conference was addressed via video link by Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.