The US state department has warned its citizens against joining the humanitarian Freedom Flotilla 2 carrying relief material to the Gaza Strip after 36 Americans announced intention to take part in the fleet.

The announcement pointed out that Israel would impose a 10-year travel ban to its territories on anyone participating in that flotilla.

The warning on the state department’s website read:

The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. U.S. citizens are advised against traveling to Gaza by any means, including via sea. Previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea have been stopped by Israeli naval vessels and resulted in the injury, death, arrest, and deportation of U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens participating in any effort to reach Gaza by sea should understand that they may face arrest, prosecution, and deportation by the Government of Israel. [...] On May 31, 2010, nine people were killed, including one U.S. citizen, in such an attempt.”

Organizers of the flotilla plan to set sail from European ports by the end of June and to arrive in the Strip in the first week of July. The Israeli navy has been preparing for intercepting the fleet for the past few weeks.

Source: The Palestinian Information Center