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Navy Expects 'Reverse Gaza Flotilla'

Gaza group plans to sail from Gaza toward IDF ships enforcing naval blockade.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/2/2013, 10:51 AM

Israeli navy ship
Israeli navy ship
Israel news photo: IDF spokesman

The IDF and Israel Navy are prepared to encounter what has been dubbed a “reverse flotilla” from Gaza, reports Israel Hayom Monday. The political flotilla will be coming at the Israeli ships from Gaza and going westward, as opposed to previous political flotillas that came from the west toward Gaza, hence the name "reverse flotilla".

The IDF estimates that dozens of Arab and European activists will be on the flotilla, and that it will include several boats.

The flotilla is the initiative of a group that is calld Shabab al-Intifada and was planned to take place Friday, but was postponed. The group said on its Facebook page that its intent is to “break the naval siege of Gaza,” and that the participants will be young people from Gaza and other countries, who do not belong to any political movement.

IDF sources told Israel Hayom that it is too early to say how “serious” the flotilla will be.

Israeli sources said that ever since the infamous 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, most countries are not interested in funding flotillas toward Gaza. There have been several incidents in which boats tried to break Israel's blockade of Gaza, however, but they ended without violence.

Nine Turkish members of the IHH pro-terror group were killed aboard the Mavi Marmara, which was part of a flotilla called Free Gaza. The IHH members brutally attacked IDF soldiers who boarded the ship, using guns, knives, and metal pipes, seriously injuring several soldiers and leaving the elite IDF unit no choice but to defend itself by using use lethal force.

The incident caused great tension between Israel and Turkey, which was partly defused when Israel apologized to Turkey following US-brokered contacts. Then- Commander of the Navy, Major General Eliezer Marom said the commandos were upset by the apology.