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Flotilla veteran to return

    Paveen Yaqub
    Paveen Yaqub

    A Gaza flotilla activist and former senior manager at Oldham Council has said she will make a humanitarian trip to Gaza even if this month's sea-bound mission is cancelled.

    Paveen Yaqub from Manchester is determined to repeat the trip she made last year.

    A second voyage for the Mavi Marmara has already been halted after the Turkish Islamic charity IHH pulled out last Friday.

    Ms Yaqub said: "I am awaiting news of whether I am able to secure a place on one of the other flotilla ships, but if not I will figure out another way of getting to Gaza hopefully.

    "I'm not on a suicide mission, I don't want to die."

    Despite Egypt opening the Rafah crossing, Ms Yaqub believes flotillas will continue.

    "A few token goods and people through the Egyptian border doesn't come anywhere close to the dealing with the bigger issue of occupation," she said.

    The 40-year-old left her council career to become a full-time pro-Palestinian campaigner.

    She said she "sympathised with Jews in history", but accused Israel of "stealing land and ethnically cleansing it".

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