Mandla Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, recently led a “Free Palestine” chant in Istanbul where an international Freedom Flotilla Coalition was set to sail and attempt to deliver much-needed aid to Gaza.

“We have finally got through to set sail and we are looking forward to breaking the siege and breaking the blockade on Gaza and ensuring that Palestinians and civil society in particular receives this humanitarian aid,” Mandla Mandela, a South African politician, said on the FFC’s TikTok page, reported

In addition, the grandson of South Africa’s first post-Apartheid president and supporter of Palestinian self-determination has urged the global community to exert pressure and prevent Israeli vessels from entering their ports.

“This call is with the aim of achieving a ceasefire and halting the bombing of Gaza,” he explained. Mandla Mandela, who is also a member of Parliament for the African National Congress (ANC), said local authorities also need to be firm in rejecting and revoking permits applied for by Israel to dock at their ports, reported


Set to sail on April 25 the humanitarian aid flotilla, which included 5,000 tons of aid, and was destined for Gaza but according to activist group Freedom Flotilla Coalition, was halted after the West African country of Guinea-Bissau decided to remove its flag from two of the three vessels, reported 

“The Guinea-Bissau International Ships Registry (GBISR), in a blatantly political move, informed the Freedom Flotilla Coalition that it had withdrawn the Guinea Bissau flag from two of the Freedom Flotilla’s ships, one of which is our cargo ship,” the activists said.

A press release provided by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition described the cancellation of the vessels’ registry as a “blatantly political move,” adding: “Without a flag, we cannot sail.”

The organizers blamed Israel for applying pressure to prevent the flotilla from sailing. “It is obvious, and I think it is publicly known, that there has been close contact between Israel and the president of Guinea-Bissau,” organizer and steering committee member Torstein Dahle told The Associated Press, without elaborating. 

In fact, according to The Times of Israel, in March, Israeli President Isaac Herzog welcomed President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau to his office. He was the first visiting African head of state to visit the Zionist State since the start of Israel’s war against Hamas.

Herzog told President Embaló, “You are a true friend of Israel, and I was pleased to hear that you studied here in Israel,” according to his office. “We will never forget our friends and you were with us even in this difficult time. You supported our position in the African Union (for observer status) and showed true friendship.”

According to Herzog’s office, during their meeting President Embalo said “We know very well the price and the burden of war, and that war is always the last and most terrible resort.”  

“Anything that Guinea-Bissau can contribute in this modest effort to bring about negotiations, know that Guinea-Bissau and the people who live there are by your side and ready to help in any way possible to promote understandings, agreements, and dialogue between you and your neighbors.”

During a press briefing in Istanbul about the deliberate scuttling of the flotilla, the FFC said they received communication informing them of the cancellation. “(In a very unusual move) the Guinea Bissau International Ships Registry (GBISR) made specific reference to our planned mission to Gaza.

It also made several extraordinary requests for information, including confirmation of the ships’ destination, any potential additional port calls, and the discharge port for humanitarian aid and estimated arrival dates and times. It further demanded a formal letter explicitly approving the transportation of humanitarian aid and a complete manifest of the cargo,” the group noted.

“Sadly, Guinea-Bissau has allowed itself to become complicit in Israel’s deliberate starvation, illegal siege, and genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. Israel is showing the world the extent to which it will go to deny Palestinians the aid they need to stay alive, in direct contravention of International Humanitarian Law, UN Security Council resolutions, and two orders of the International Court of Justice,” they continued. 

The FCC argued that Israel is only allowed to get away with this because, “we have an international order where law does not apply equally, where people are not valued the same, and where might equals right.”

The group also pointed out that the U.S., “has hijacked international law and is violating its own laws to protect Israel at every turn.” A recently leaked USAID memo stated that “famine in Gaza is inevitable,” and that “changes could reduce but not stop widespread civilian deaths.”

The memo also states that the government of Israel does not currently demonstrate necessary compliance with U.S. law required to receive U.S. military aid. Nevertheless, recently, the U.S. Congress passed, and President Joe Biden signed a $26 billion aid package for Israel. 

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