Pro-Hamas flotilla activists exposed their political agenda Monday by rejecting a Greek offer to guarantee the shipping of aid to Gaza, under United Nations supervision, through Israeli ports.
Israel has maintained that the aim of the flotilla supporters is to cause a conflict and not to bring aid, which can be shipped through overland routes.
The IDF reported Monday that flotilla organizers “trained boat passengers on how to defiantly rebuff Israel Navy attempts to peacefully board the boats.” It added that the flotilla was estimated to contain only 3,000 tons of goods and materials, half the daily amount that is transferred to Gaza every day through Israeli-supervised land crossings.
The government has clamped a maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza to prevent the entry of weapons, explosives and terrorists.
The flotilla effort so far has failed following the refusal of Greece to allow the boats to leave its ports for Gaza, an action that can be challenged as illegal because most of the Western world classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said that besides ensuring the flotilla aid would reach Gaza, his government might send additional aid. The flotilla organizers turned down the Greek offer while still looking for ways to get around the Greek blockade on their ships. The Greek Coast Guard Sunday arrested an American captain who tried to break the prohibition. He faces felony charges in a Greek court on Tuesday. The United States has warned Americans they face arrest for trying to aid the Hamas terrorist organization.
The American delegation, which includes a sizeable number of Jews, said they would stage a hunger strike in an effort to convince the Obama administration to change its position.
A flotilla last year ended in a violent clash with Israeli Navy commandos after they were brutally attacked by flotilla passengers who were members of the Turkish IHH terror-linked Muslim ”charity” organization.
Documented films from the clash have helped turned the usual anti-Israel tide of public opinion, and the European Union and the United Nations have urged flotilla activists to send their aid through Israeli and crossings without trying to break the maritime embargo.