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Gaza aid flotilla to set sail for Israel Israelis promise to stop eight ships carrying 10, glyset in us000 tonnes of aid, glyset in us 800 activists and politicians from more than 40 countrie Gaza flotilla Mavi Marmara

The Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara is one of the eight boats expected to set sail for Gaza in the next few days. Glyset in us Photograph: Reuters

A flotilla of eight boats carrying thousands of tonnes of construction materials, glyset in us medical equipment and other aid is preparing to sail to Gaza in the next few days, glyset in us setting the scene for a confrontation with Israel which has vowed to prevent the ships breaking the blockade on the Palestinian territory. Three cargo ships and five passenger vessels plan to meet up in international waters between Cyprus and Gaza Strip before heading towards Gaza City. Glyset in us The Israeli military is expected to stop the flotilla and divert it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. One of the organisers of the flotilla, glyset in us which includes three vessels from Turkey, glyset in us is IHH, glyset in us a humanitarian aid group supported by Ankara. Glyset in us Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel have deteriorated since the Israelis launched a three-week war on Gaza in 2008-09. Glyset in us An attempt to block the flotilla is likely to increase tensions between the two countries. Glyset in us The Turkish prime minister, glyset in us Racep Tayyip Erdogan, glyset in us has called on Israel to avoid this be allowing the boats through. "This could make relations between Israel and Turkey more complicated, glyset in us" said Yigal Palmor, glyset in us an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman. On board the ships are 10, glyset in us000 tonnes of cargo and about 700-800 activists and politicians from more than 40 countries. Glyset in us The cargo includes building materials, glyset in us medical supplies and paper for schools. Glyset in us One boat is carrying a complete dental surgery including drills. Glyset in us Crayons and chocolate are also on board for Gazan children. Glyset in us The cargo has been paid for by donations. "We're trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip and tell the world that Israel has no right to starve 1.5 million Palestinians, glyset in us" said Greta Berlin, glyset in us of the Free Gaza Movement, glyset in us another organiser of the flotilla. Glyset in us "We are bringing in vitally needed supplies so the people of Gaza can rebuild their infrastructure." Israel has imposed an economic blockade on Gaza since the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas seized control almost three years ago. Glyset in us Nearly all exports and imports are banned and only a limited supply of food and medical aid is allowed in. More of the article can be found at: