Navy Takes Over Flotilla Ship

IDF naval fighters board the Swedish Marianne vessel that was attempting to break the blockade on Gaza. No injuries reported.

Elad Benari,

Participants in latest flotilla
Participants in latest flotilla
Reuters

IDF naval fighters early on Monday morning boarded the Swedish ship Marianne that was taking part in the latest flotilla trying to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.

The troops took control of the ship and will take it to the Ashdod Port where its contents will be inspected. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the takeover process was short and there were no injuries on either side.

“According to the decision of the political echelon, and after exhausting all diplomatic channels to prevent the Marianne vessel from reaching the coast of the Gaza Strip and violating the naval blockade, navy fighters took over the vessel a short time ago before its arrival in Gaza,” the statement said.

“The action was taken after a large number of requests to the passengers on the vessel. Once the passengers clarified that they would not cooperate and proceed to the Ashdod Port, it was decided to take over the vessel and sail it to the Ashdod port.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed the operation to take over the vessel and said, "I would like to commend the sailors and commanders of the Israel Navy for their determined and efficient action in detaining the passengers on the ship that tried to reach the Gaza coast in contravention of the law. This flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region. Preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General.”

“Israel,” noted Netanyahu, “is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law. We are not prepared to accept the entry of war materiel to the terrorist organizations in Gaza as has been done by sea in the past. Just last year we foiled an attempt to smuggle by sea hundreds of weapons that were destined for use in attacks against Israel's citizens.”

He stressed that “there is no siege on Gaza. Israel assists in transferring goods and humanitarian equipment to Gaza – approximately 800 trucks a day that have recently brought into Gaza more than 1.6 million tons of goods. Moreover, Israel assists in hundreds of humanitarian projects, through international organizations, including the building of clinics and hospitals.”

“Israel is a state that seeks peace and acts in accordance with international law so that the residents of Gaza might have safe lives and their children may grow up in peace and quiet," concluded Netanyahu.

The so-called “Freedom Flotilla 3”, which set sail from Crete on Friday, has been backed by the European Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza. Members of the European Parliament, journalists, athletes, artists, as well as radical leftist Israelis will be on board. 

Arutz Sheva has exclusively revealed that the flotilla is indirectly funded by the French government via a pro-Palestinian NGO.

The flotilla was the latest in a series of attempts by activists to break the naval blockade on Gaza, imposed by Israel after Hamas violently took control of Gaza from rival Fatah in 2006.

The most famous of the flotillas was the 2010 one involving the Turkish Mavi Marmara, which claimed to be providing "humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza."

The ship repeatedly defied orders to turn around and dock at the Ashdod port and ignored repeated warnings to change course, forcing IDF troops to board the vessel - only to be attacked by Islamist extremists on board wielding knives and metal bars. The wounded soldiers had no choice but to open fire, resulting in the deaths of ten of Islamists on board.

After an investigation, Israeli authorities discovered the vessel to be carrying no humanitarian aid - in fact, no aid supplies at all - indicating how the true goal of the provocative move was to open Gaza to free naval access, which it has consistently used to smuggle in weapons to be targeted against Israel.


More Arutz Sheva videos:


top