Activists say French flotilla has set sail for Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2011

French pro-Palestinian activists have reportedly managed to sail a boat out of a Greek port with the intention of breaking the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

According to news agency AFP the "Dignite al Karama", a small vessel, set off with eight passengers on board. A spokesman for the French group said the boat had avoided the Greek authorities and planned to be near Gaza within the next two days.

Other boats have been stopped from departing by the Greek authorities. On Monday activists refused an offer for Greece to pass the cargo on to the Palestinians rather than for it to arrive on a flotilla.

The Israeli authorities also responded to accusations that they had sabotaged boats to stop the flotilla from sailing. Yigal Palmor, spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, said the flotilla organisers were living "in a James Bond movie" because they could not support their claims.

Last updated: 3:03pm, July 5 2011