ID :
Mon, 04/22/2024 - 15:51
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Sailing For Humanity: Gaza Freedom Flotilla Ensures Participant Safety Amidst High Stakes

ISTANBUL, April 22 (Bernama) -- Every participant in the "Break the Siege of Gaza Freedom Flotilla" mission can be confident that their safety is the primary concern of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC).


Dr. Fauziah Hasan, a member of the FFC Steering Committee, said they have been taken to see the main sections of the involved ship and briefed on participant safety.


"Alhamdulillah, I have been informed that 1,500 safety jackets have been provided and God willing, it is sufficient for every participant," she said when met after a briefing by Humanitarian Care Malaysia (MyCARE) to the Malaysian delegation in Istanbul on Monday.


She added that the FFC will deliver specific safety briefings to participants regarding other safety aspects before the ship sets sail, even after the non-violence training session held last Saturday.


"It covers all safety aspects including how to wear safety jackets, where the main assembly points are in case of emergencies, and much more," she added.


Asked about the main procedures for activists and media personnel involved in the event of provocation by regime forces during the voyage, Dr. Fauziah said both groups are separated based on the situation in past missions.


"Usually, media personnel will be separated from the activist group; therefore, it is important for media personnel to wear hats and jackets indicating that they are media personnel.


"Based on my experience, when the ship approaches within 100 nautical miles of reaching Gaza, we are usually on the alert in facing any possible incidents.


"This is because at any time, the Israeli navy will send signals and start contacting the ship regarding sailing information and will ask further about sailing locations and other details," she added.


At the same time, Dr. Fauziah also said there is a possibility that the ships involved in this mission will be approached by three Israeli naval ships, and negotiations will take place between the FFC and the Israeli navy.


However, if negotiations fail, they may take action to forcibly enter the ship's cabin space and seize the mission ship.


Nevertheless, she added that the FFC is prepared with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place to deal with potential incidents during the journey.


Currently, 18 Malaysians have joined the international public in sailing on a flotilla to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip via the sea route due to the dire humanitarian situation in the region.


They include doctors, humanitarian activists, and media practitioners.


Among the Malaysian media practitioners participating in the flotilla are writer and broadcast journalist from the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), Muhammad Hafizuddin Mohd Yusof, and Bernama TV cameraman Mohammad Nulhakim Jailan.


Activists from 30 countries including Malaysia have gathered in Istanbul since April 18 for final preparations for the "Break the Siege: Freedom Flotilla Mission to Gaza 2024" mission.