In Canadian Politics, Human Rights, International, Middle East

In April of this year, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition prepared to send three large vessels from Istanbul, Turkey to the besieged and devastated people of Gaza.

Two of the vessels, which carried thousands of tonnes of aid, bore the flag of Guinea-Bissau.

As I reported at the time, Israel’s government effectively stranded the flotilla in Turkish waters by persuading Guinea-Bisseau to withdraw its flag from the vessels at the 11th hour.

Undeterred, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has launched another vessel from Oslo, Norway. It’s name is “Handala”.

Handala is gradually making its way from northern Europe to the Mediterranean, where it will attempt to break the siege of Gaza this summer. I hope to join Handala for its final leg from southern Europe to Gaza.

This week, I spoke with a passenger on Handala, John Turnbull. My full interview of John, who was sitting on the deck of Handala as we spoke, appears at the end of this article.

In 2018, John captained a vessel called “Freedom” that attempted to break the siege of Gaza. When the Freedom approached Gaza, Israeli forces boarded the ship in international waters. Turnbull, his crew and the passengers were then kidnapped to Israel against their will. There, they were imprisoned briefly and then deported. I interviewed John shortly after he emerged from an Israeli jail.


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  • Terry Lawrence

    Good interview. Wishing you success in breaking the blockade with lots of publicity. I will do my little bit to spread the link to this interview around.

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