A third voyage to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip successfully completed on Saturday morning as the "Dignity" ship docked in the harbor of the Islamists-ruled territory, reported dpa.
Palestinian witnesses said the ship, which set sail Friday from Cyprus, berthed at 0930 am (0730 GMT) in Gaza fishing port with a handful of Hamas officials and tens of Palestinians welcoming the delegation.
The yacht carries 11 journalists, human rights and peace activists in addition to 12 European parliamentarians who Egypt barred from traveling to Gaza through its territories last month.
Hamas authorities arranged a three-day program for the delegation to inspect the effects of the Israeli closure, especially on the healthcare system.
Nasser al-Badri, a London-based reporter for the Qatari satellite channel al-Jazeera, said this trip "was easier than the previous two voyages." He added that it is also more important "since it carries parliamentarians whose governments boycott Hamas and its government."
The delegation is headed by Nazir Ahmed, a Labour member of the House of Lords in the UK. Most of the parliamentarians came from the UK and the remaining represented Italy, Switzerland and Ireland.
Among the passengers is Sami al-Haj, an al-Jazeera cameraman who spent five years in Guantanamo prison, and Clare Short, former British minister of international development.
The Israeli navy allowed the ship to enter Gaza territorial waters as it has done with the previous voyage. Israel imposed a tight sea blockade on Gaza and doesn't allow Palestinian fishermen to work beyond tow nautical miles.
The voyage is chartered by the US-based Free Gaza Movement which promotes against the Israeli sanctions on Gaza Strip. The movement ferried its first mission, which was made up of tow boats, in August and the second cruise in October.
Israel sealed off the Gaza Strip when the Islamic Hamas movement seized the salient in June 2007. But human rights groups and the working UN bodies in Gaza say the poor, ordinary people pay the price of the sanctions.