Hectic work in progress in the port of Gaza as it prepares to receive a multi-nation fleet of boats carrying aid material and right activists. Image Credit: Nasser Najjar/Gulf News

Gaza: Gaza's port is undergoing hurried renovation and expansion as an international convoy of boats prepare to try and break Israel's Gaza siege later this month.

Construction materials have been entering the ageing port as it prepares to receive a fleet of cargo and passenger boats.

Men have been working round the clock as the port has not seen the arrival of such a contingent of vessels before.

Dr Younus Al Mansi, Minister of Public Works and Housing in Gaza Strip, said the workers are doing their best with the outdated equipment they are using.

Passengers

The Free Gaza organisation says the fleet comprising three cargo and five passenger vessels will start for Gaza on May 24.

The ships from Greece, Ireland and Turkey will be carrying 5,000 tonnes of reconstruction materials, school supplies and medical equipment, along with 600 passengers from over 40 countries.

Four metres deep

"We don't think Israel will dare stand against 40 countries and start conflicts with them," Al Mansi said.

Passengers escorting the fleet include parliament members from various countries, UN officials, human rights activists and labour activists.

Journalists will also accompany the convoy, documenting the journey.

Among the goods being delivered are medical equipment, schoolbags and mobile homes for the many Gazans made homeless after Israel's war last year.

The port's berths, which usually receives only fishing boats, is currently only four metres deep.

In order to accommodate the ships the workers are trying to make it at least 8 metres deep.