The Foreign Ministry says organizers of a flotilla hoping to force its way into Gaza are more interested in promoting their political agenda than offering aid to the region's residents.
The so-called “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” originally scheduled to set sail from Greece on Tuesday, was delayed, reportedly because some of the European aid ships had not yet arrived.
“As with all other carefully crafted plans, we are having to revise our schedule,” reported organizer Ismail Patel from Antalya. “Meanwhile, apparently half of the Israeli navy has been placed on full alert to confront our peaceful mission to take humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor responded, “Ships forcing their way into Gaza will do nothing to aid the people there. Existing land crossings are more than capable of meeting their needs.”
Palmor noted that an average of 15,000 tons or more of humanitarian aid are delivered to the region each week through the various crossings with Israel.
“Israel has invited the organizers of the flotilla to use the land crossings, in the same manner as all the reputable international organizations. However,” he pointed out, “they are less interested in bringing in aid than in promoting their radical agenda, playing into the hands of Hamas provocations.
“While they have wrapped themselves in a humanitarian cloak,” Palmor added, “they are engaging in political propaganda and not in pro-Palestinian aid.”