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Gaza aid flotilla to set sail for Israel Israelis promise to stop eight ships carrying 10, plendil free sample000 tonnes of aid, plendil free sample 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. Plendil free sample Photograph: Reuters

A flotilla of eight boats carrying thousands of tonnes of construction materials, plendil free sample medical equipment and other aid is preparing to sail to Gaza in the next few days, plendil free sample 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. Plendil free sample 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, plendil free sample which includes three vessels from Turkey, plendil free sample is IHH, plendil free sample a humanitarian aid group supported by Ankara. Plendil free sample Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel have deteriorated since the Israelis launched a three-week war on Gaza in 2008-09. Plendil free sample An attempt to block the flotilla is likely to increase tensions between the two countries. Plendil free sample The Turkish prime minister, plendil free sample Racep Tayyip Erdogan, plendil free sample has called on Israel to avoid this be allowing the boats through. "This could make relations between Israel and Turkey more complicated, plendil free sample" said Yigal Palmor, plendil free sample an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman. On board the ships are 10, plendil free sample000 tonnes of cargo and about 700-800 activists and politicians from more than 40 countries. Plendil free sample The cargo includes building materials, plendil free sample medical supplies and paper for schools. Plendil free sample One boat is carrying a complete dental surgery including drills. Plendil free sample Crayons and chocolate are also on board for Gazan children. Plendil free sample 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, plendil free sample" said Greta Berlin, plendil free sample of the Free Gaza Movement, plendil free sample another organiser of the flotilla. Plendil free sample "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. Plendil free sample 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: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/25/gaza-flotilla-aid-attempt/print