MyCARE leads international flotilla to challenge Gaza blockade

1,000 join humanitarian mission to deliver aid, break Gaza siege

16 Apr 2024 05:02pm

SERI KEMBANGAN - Humanitarian organisation MyCARE is making headlines with a bold move: a large-scale mission to challenge the long-standing Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Three ships carrying essential supplies and over 1,000 international participants, including 20 representatives from Malaysia, are set to depart on April 20.

According to MyCARE Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Kamal Nasharuddin Mustapha, activists from across the globe will convene in Istanbul to finalise preparations for the "Break the Siege" initiative.

This initiative aligns with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition's (FFC) objective of ending the blockade on Gaza.

"The specific objective of the FFC is to break the siege in Gaza under Israel for more than 17 years.

"The ships will carry essential supplies such as medical kits, food packs, and ambulances.

"This multinational effort aims to stop Israel's oppression of Palestine and demonstrate solidarity with the people of Gaza," Kamal told reporters during a press conference held at MyCARE Seri Kembangan centre here today.

Among the collaborating Non-Governmental Organisations were Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), Ship to Gaza Norway, and the United States Ship to Gaza.

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"The initiative represents grassroots support for Gaza's humanitarian crisis and aims to draw global attention to the suffering of Palestinians.

"The mission has been in preparation for years," added Kamal.

In a related matter, MyCARE Chief Executive Kamarul Zaman Shaharul Anwar assured that legal actions would be taken in the event of any mishaps.

He stressed that all humanitarian aid is intended for Gaza and called for international pressure to open the Rafah border.

"All actions are conducted at an international level, and any serious incidents will be pursued legally.

"Humanitarian aid is solely for Gaza. International pressure should focus on opening the Rafah border crossing," he said.

Meanwhile, MyCARE Advisor Fauziah Mohd Hasan highlighted concerns about ensuring safe arrival in Gaza and stressed the importance of international media attention to pressure the United States for Gaza's safety.

Discussing contingency plans for worst-case scenarios, Fauziah stressed the flexibility to negotiate alternate routes or destinations should the ship encounter obstacles en route to its intended destination.

Reflecting on her prior involvement in similar missions, Fauziah recounted the challenges faced, including the constant threat of interception and stringent regulations onboard.

"Participants were closely monitored, requiring permission even for basic necessities like restroom use, with failed negotiations leading to the redirection of the ship," she said.

Expanding on media coverage, Fauziah noted the extensive presence of news outlets like Al-Jazeera, which indicates substantial attention to the mission's progress.

She also outlined the communication protocol onboard, highlighting coordination with the organisation's legal counsel based in the West Bank. "Each passenger will be assigned a pro-Palestine lawyer to relay updates to their families daily, ensuring transparency and support throughout the journey," she said.