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Gaza We Are Coming
The story behind the maritime mission that successfully broke the Israeli blockade.
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2010 15:08

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Israel's attack on a flotilla of aid ships sailing for Gaza has once more put the spotlight on the Israeli blockade of the Strip.

But two years ago, activists did manage to break the Israeli blockade.

In August 2008, two wooden Greek ships laden with 44 activists from 17 different countries managed something no other vessel had in 41 years and broke the marine blockade that Israel has unilaterally imposed in Gaza, in contravention of  international law.

The mission was the brainchild of the Free Gaza Movement, founded in 2006, who realised that the only realistic way of breaking through the blockade was via the sea.

In depth

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However the project was fraught with delays and risks from the outset and in the words of Paul Larudee from the group: "This project died a thousand deaths and every time it was about to die someone, somebody new, stepped forward to save the project."

The last such person was Vangelis Pissias, a Greek who was touched by the Palestinian issue during his youth in Egypt and provided the boats for the group to undertake the mission to Gaza.

All involved were aware of the perilous nature of the mission. Previous attempts had been thwarted and boats even exploded. Activists had also been found dead in suspicious circumstances.

Gaza We Are Coming is a special documentary that charts the history of the project to break the blockade of Gaza by sea.

It explores the motives of those involved, including the ordinary Greeks who volunteered to participate in this dangerous but successful operation.

It also recounts how the boats were built secretly in Greek shipyards, the logistics involved, the attempts to thwart the mission and why it was laden with such historical importance and pressure to succeed.


Gaza, We Are Coming was directed by filmmakers Yorgos Avgeropoulos and Yiannis Karipidis with original music by Yiannis Paxevanis. For a full list of credits click here.

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Al Jazeera
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