Israel Trying To Discourage 'Free Gaza' Boat Activists

The Foreign Ministry tried to convince leftists not to try to test Israeli sovereignty over Gaza's waters. The Free Gaza movement was not swayed.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Navy on Lookout for 'Free Gaza' Boats
Navy on Lookout for 'Free Gaza' Boats
Israen News Photo: (IDF)

The government is trying to convince 40 leftists on the "Free Gaza" boats from trying to test Israeli sovereignty over the Gaza coast on Thursday, according to foreign news agencies. The Foreign Ministry replied to a letter sent by Free Gaza and responded that although their intentions may be positive, "the result of your action is that you are supporting the regime of a terrorist organization in Gaza."

The government suggested that the activists agree to use "agreed-upon channels" in return for Israel's ensuring that the merchandise on the two boats "reaches its destination via the land crossing points." The Foreign Ministry's letter added, "The area to which you are planning to sail is the subject of an advisory notice which warns all foreign vessels to remain clear of the designated maritime zone."

The Free Gaza movement is hoping that the Israeli Navy will arrest them, allowing them to gain worldwide media coverage, if Israel does not allow the activists to land on the coast and claim Gaza sovereignty. Intelligence officials have stated several times that terrorists use the open seas to smuggle terrorists and weapons into Gaza, and that allowing the leftists to land would establish a dangerous precedent.

The Free Gaza movement said that it is not clear if the Foreign Ministry's letter "signals a change of policy or is simply an attempt to open up an official dialogue."

"Since the Foreign Minister's office responded to our invitation to join us, and said that we have good intentions, we now fully expect to reach Gaza," said Greta Berlin, said one of the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement.