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The Handala on its way around Europe. SUR
'Freedom Flotilla' to dock at Costa del Sol port on latest journey to Gaza
Human rights

'Freedom Flotilla' to dock at Costa del Sol port on latest journey to Gaza

The Handala set sail on 1 May from the Norwegian capital Oslo, and has already visited several European ports in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France

Eugenio Cabezas

Axarquía

Wednesday, 3 July 2024, 17:22

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As part of an international campaign to call for an end to the conflict and the "genocide" in Gaza, the so-called 'Freedom Flotilla', on board the Handala, will dock at Caleta de Vélez port on the eastern stretch of the Costa del Sol on Tuesday 9 as part of its journey through Europe to Gaza "to break and denounce the current genocide and siege".

The Handala set sail on 1 May from the Norwegian capital Oslo, and has visited several European ports in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland and France. The ship arrived in Santander on 22 June and then travelled to A Coruña before continuing its journey along the Portuguese coast.

After leaving Lisbon its next stop will be Caleta de Vélez port. This will be its penultimate stop on the Spanish mainland as its next destination will be Dénia in Alicante province, from where it will set off for other ports on the Mediterranean en route to Gaza.

In Malaga the organisers of the stopover have scheduled a series of activities in collaboration with Vélez-Málaga, El Borge, Almáchar and Periana town halls. Planned activities include a guided tour of the oil cooperatives and the ancient olive trees of Periana, a march starting on Torre del Mar’s Paseo de Larios pedestrian avenue from where it will continue along the promenade towards the lighthouse, a concert by Arturo Ruiz on guitar and Miguel López on vocals. Jesús Aranda, Bea and Estación Cero will also perform.

The crew of the Handala will also visit the Bandolero (bandit) museum in El Borge, the local sultana and oil cooperative and will take part in a traditional wheel dance in the village square. They will be received by the president and mayors of the Mancomunidad association of Axarquía town halls and participate in a dramatised tour of the Al Andalus heritage of Vélez-Málaga. The final event will be a traditional dinner of ‘espetos’ (grilled sardines) at a beach bar in Torre del Mar.

Raise awareness

In 2011, the International Freedom Flotilla Coalition was created to denounce the "inhumane and illegal blockade" of Gaza. "In this year and with the ongoing genocide, these sailings take on even more meaning," the promoters of the humanitarian project have said.

"Since October, Israel has been relentlessly attacking and bombing the civilian population of Gaza, a population of more than 2.2 million people who have been surrounded by land, sea and air since 2007, unable to escape or find a safe place in the entire strip," they added.

By visiting ports across Europe, the Freedom Flotilla' aims to raise awareness of "the plight of the Palestinian people and to enlist the support of people along the way who can put pressure on their governments to demand a permanent ceasefire and help ensure self-determination and the fulfilment of all human rights for the Palestinian people.”

In all ports, events are organised by Palestinian solidarity and support groups. On board the Handala, activists take turns on the various routes. Among those joining the crew at different Spanish ports are Cuban paediatrician Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevera, Pilar Barrado Leisa, magistrate and member of Judges for Democracy and from the world of politics Ana Miranda MEP, Juan Antonio Delgado, member of the Andalusian government, the Vélez councillor Víctor González, feminists María Pazos and Teresa Sáez, and Sergio Tamayo, a trade union representative. Nurse and activist Ángeles Cabria is also on the boat along with Ibrahim Abiat, a Palestinian refugee living in Spain.

“Handala represents all Palestinian children with decades of suffering behind them", explains the crew of the Freedom Flotilla.

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