MV Rachel Corrie waiting in Mediterranean: Reports

Ma'an News Agency, June 3, 2010

Bethlehem - The Irish Times reported Thursday that the MV Rachel Corrie assumed a holding position in the eastern Mediterranean one day earlier, apparently waiting for two other boats to sail as a second flotilla to Gaza by the week's end.

Free Gaza organizer Greta Berlin told the Times that a small ship, Challenger II, was being fixed so it was fit for the voyage.

In addition to Berlin, aboard the ships will be Nobel Prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday.

A statement from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) said the Rachel Corrie was carrying 1,000 tons of educational and rebuilding supplies.

Israeli media reports, however, said the ship may have already agreed to dock in Ashdod. The daily newspaper Haaretz cited European diplomats and senior Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem, as saying a "diplomatic" solution had been found to impending second challenge to Israel's siege on Gaza.

Speaking from the boat, Irishman Derek Graham told PSC that "if this aid is not delivered, then Monday's deaths will have been in vain".

He said the passengers had discussed the possability of being boarded by commandos like the first ships, and told PSC that all 15 passengers would sit with their arms in the air so that they would not be attacked.

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