The Canada Boat to Gaza (CBG) will carry a delegation to Gaza in the end of June on a boat named Tahrir, meaning "liberation" in Arabic, along with at least 12 other ships from around the world. "Despite news that Egypt plans to open the Rafah border crossing," the group notes, "the maritime blockade by Israel remains a major obstacle to achieving normal life in Gaza. The Canadian Boat to Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla movement will continue our work until the Port of Gaza is opened to ensure free circulation of goods and people."
Egypt permanently opens the Rafah Crossing into Gaza starting Saturday. That will allow for more open shipments of goods and humanitarian aid into Gaza and greater movement for Palestinians.
Flotilla organizers have made it clear that their purpose is not to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. "The Mediterranean does not belong to Israel," Bulent Yildirim, one of the lead organizers of the upcoming flotilla, said last month. "Just because we have had shahids [martyrs], we are not fearful... We will not step back... Let all know this: Until the blockade on Gaza is lifted... and until our march to al-Aqsa is completed, this sea intifada and land intifada will continue!"
Yildirim's organization, IHH, instigated the deadly confrontation between flotilla passengers and Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara ship during the first flotilla last year. The United States is considering designating IHH as a terrorist organization, while the Turkish-based group continues to cooperate with organizations from around the world to sail to Gaza in late June, including the Canada Boat to Gaza and a group from the United States.