The IDF oversees the shipment of 6,000 tons of food, fuel, merchandise and building material to Gaza every day but flotilla leaders allege a “blockade” exists. The requests never exceed the transit vehicles' capacity.
The daily deliveries never turn into “media frenzy,” according to IDF spokesmen. “In contrast, previous convoys, instigating violent provocations with Israeli or Egyptian forces, rarely delivered substantial amounts of goods into Gaza,” the IDF said on its website.
Israel maintains a maritime blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza to allow the Navy to stop the smuggling of missiles and advanced weapons for the use of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations that use Gaza as a launching pad for attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.
The IDF noted that aid from European convoys to Gaza has continuously been transferred overland in an orderly way without the violence that characterized last year’s IHH-backed flotilla.
After Navy commandos prevented the ships from sailing to Gaza, the boats were led to the port in Ashdod, where it was discovered that the IHH’s Mavi Marmara ship was not carrying any aid at all.
The 2010 Gaza flotilla’s five other ships arrived with only 20 truckloads worth of goods, including expired medication. Before the ships left ports for Gaza, a flotilla organizer said the real aim was to Isolate Israel in the international community.
In contrast, the European convoy “Miles of Smiles 3” last month arrived at the Rafiah land crossing at the Egyptian border. “The convoy’s ten European human rights organizations transferred 30 tons of medical supplies, 12 ambulances, baby food, and wheelchairs to Gaza by coordinating efforts with the Egyptian Red Crescent,” the IDF stated.
It added, “The transfer of goods and materials did not entail violence because the organizers focused on delivering supplies, rather than delegitimizing Israel through a violent confrontation.”
The IDF explained how to donate to Gaza Arabs by contacting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Humanitarian organizations operating in Gaza submit all formal requests to Israel’s COGAT, a governmental body that coordinates civilian policy including humanitarian issues, infrastructure projects and economic projects.
Last year, Israel changed its more limited policy and allowed all goods to enter Gaza after being checked, except for dual-use products, which undergo a review to make sure they will not be used for the Hamas terrorist infrastructure and weapons.