Supported by Hamas and PFLP, new pro-Palestinian flotilla will set sail for Gaza

December 5, 2019 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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The International Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) will launch another convoy of boats to the Gaza Strip this May to “challenge and end the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza.”

Fishing boats at the Port of Gaza near the Rimal district of Gaza City. Gaza, Oct 31, 2019. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS

The organization made the announcement after a two-day meeting held in the Netherlands over the weekend with representatives from the US, Canada and New Zealand.

The sail towards Gaza’s shores in the coming year will mark the 10th anniversary of the sailing of the Mavi Marmara, in which 10 passengers were killed while attacking Israeli forces who blocked the ship from breaching the Israel military blockade on Gaza.

The FFC is an umbrella body for dozens of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel organizations from around the world, including the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) which is affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization

The UAWC, which works with the FCC, was led by Samer Arabid who oversaw its accounts. Arabid led the PFLP terror cell which murdered Rina Schnerb and injured her brother and father in a spring near Dolev in August.

Corbyn’s Ties to Hamas

The FFC is headed by Zaher Birawi, a Hamas member who has been operating from London in recent years and who is also a staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and the UK Labour Party.

Cooperation between Hamas in London and Labour activists is not new. Birawi was one of the organizers of the Marmara flotilla with the help of the British nonprofit Viva Palestina, which has ties to Labour activists.

Viva Palestina was founded by former British Labour Member of Parliament George Galloway who was expelled from the party over antisemitism. Kevin O’Banden, the association’s secretary-general, met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in the Gaza Strip in 2009, as Galway’s assistant.

An inquiry by TPS shows that Facebook pages promoting the flotilla to Gaza were created to support Corbyn personally. These pages are managed by social activists in the Gaza Strip, in collaboration with Labour supporters.

London’s Hamas group includes Birawi, Mohammed Sawalha, Azzam Tamimi, Ibrahim Hamami and others, Hamas operatives and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Hamas group operates many Islamic institutions in London, where it has made strong connections with Corbyn and the Labour Party.

A few months ago, the Council on International Relations – Palestine (COIR) initiated a video conference in honour of Corbyn, attended by representatives from London and Gaza.

COIR acts as Hamas’ de-facto foreign ministry in Europe.

In 2012, Corbyn met with the Hamas leadership in Qatar, including Khaled Mashaal. The meeting was initiated by Birawi.

In March 2015, the COIR initiated a conference at the London House of Lords on the rehabilitation of Gaza. The conference was attended by Lord John Montagu and Corbyn alongside Birwai and Tamimi, both senior Hamas officials.

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