As part of its Europe solidarity tour for Gaza, a Norwegian ship called Handala has docked in Denmark. The ship was welcomed by many supporters who braved the harsh weather, as stated by the organizers in a press release.
The ship, which started its journey in Oslo in mid-June, aims to raise awareness about the plight of the children of Gaza, who have been living under a brutal Israeli blockade since 2005. The ship has visited ports in England, Holland and Germany before reaching Denmark, where local Palestine solidarity groups have arranged public events and meetings with the crew.
The crew members include several veterans of previous attempts to break the siege and reach Gaza by sea. They have faced violent attacks by Israeli occupation forces, who have boarded their ships, confiscated their belongings, and imprisoned them in Ashdod. However, they have not given up their hope and determination to end the illegal occupation and blockade of Palestine.
The captain of the ship, Joel Opperdoes from Sweden, who has been arrested twice by Israel in 2012 and 2015, said: “Palestine has been occupied since 1967, and they don’t give up. We have only been at this for little over 10 years, and we will never give up either – until the siege is lifted.”
The founder of the Norwegian Ship to Gaza organization, Torstein Dahle, who spoke to the public in Copenhagen, said that Israel is trying to hide the truth about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza from the world. “But they will never succeed in keeping the truth away from public knowledge. We will be heard all over, and will never give up the fight and never lose hope that Palestine one day will be free.”
The ship will continue its voyage to Sweden, where it will visit Halmstad and Gothenburg, before returning to Oslo on August 14th. This trip is also a test-run for next year’s new attempt at reaching Gaza, said Dahle.