Israel Prepares for Another Flotilla Confrontation
by Jim Kouri
The Israeli military issued a statement Wednesday night that it is ready and waiting to interdict two ships currently sailing for the Gaza Strip, in order to thwart a radical group's attempt to challenge Israel's blockade against the coastal enclave.
"The Israel Navy has completed the necessary preparations in order to prevent them from reaching the Gaza Strip," according to an army press release.
"The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is fully prepared to guard the safety of Israel and its maritime border and to take any necessary action and prevent vessels from breaking the maritime security blockade," the army release said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Free Gaza Movement, one of the main sponsors for the campaign against the siege, announced that two vessels are sailing towards Gaza in the latest efforts by the Palestinian rights group to bring aid there.
The main organizers of last year’s so-called Gaza Flotilla, were the Turkish-based Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), the Free Gaza coalition, and assorted radical-left leaders such as President Obama’s friends and colleagues William Ayers and Jodie Evans, who worked on the Governor Jerry Brown campaign in California. Evans is now the leader of Code Pink.
In this latest flotilla, dubbed "Freedom Waves to Gaza," the mission includes Canadian Tahrir and Irish Saoirse, carrying 27 activists and a symbolic cargo of some $30,000 worth of medicine, according to a statement from a Palestinian organization, the International Solidarity Movement.
A Gaza-bound aid flotilla attracted worldwide attention on May 31, 2010 when Israeli navy commandos, trying to board and stop the convoy, killed nine activists and wounded dozens.
Israel argues that it is in accordance with the international law to stop any unchecked cargo from reaching Gaza, so as to prevent the smuggling of weapons and munitions to the Islamic Hamas movement and other militant groups operating in the coastal strip.
Israel has maintained a blockade around Gaza for quite sometime with the hope of preventing weapons such as missiles and rockets from being smuggled to the Palestinian terrorists. It was decided by a number of Islamists and radicals to take actions that would ultimately end the blockade.
The organizer of the blockade-busting action was a known radical group called Free Gaza. The “Free Gaza” flotilla was far more than a collection of innocent “peace activists” trying to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, as they were portrayed by many news organizations.
Free Gaza sponsored the flotilla that engaged in deadly clashes with Israeli special forces troops. Among its members were Weather Underground founders William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn—who perpetrated a series of terrorist attacks—as well as Jodie Evans, the leader of the radical activist organization Code Pink. Besides the U.S. radicals, Islamic groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood contributed to the flotilla.