Ireland will press for Israel to allow activists to reach Gaza with humanitarian aid packages. Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore told the Irish Examiner this week.

Gilmore said that diplomats would work closely with Israel to attempt to avoid a repetition of the violence that erupted when Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara and other boats which were attempting to bring aid to Gaza last May. Nine people were killed and several injured in the operation.

"Ireland has had a long-standing concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and, along with the other EU member states, we are continuing to press for the full opening up of border crossing into Gaza to allow the normal flow of humanitarian aid and commercial and human traffic," Gilmore said.

"Naturally we understand the motivation which gave rise to last year’s flotilla, and I understand that another one is now being planned, we will press Israel to do everything possible to facilitate those wishing to transfer humanitarian goods to Gaza and we will work with them to avoid a repetition of the unacceptable violence which occurred last year.

“However the travel advice from the department remains that people should not attempt to enter Gaza at this time and to go about breaking the blockade."

More than 25 Irish citizens will participate in the flotilla, including government ministers and artists.