Gaza flotilla to be countered with Israeli flags

Avi Farhan, who is organizing a counter-protest to women's flotilla, suggests that the flotilla should go to Syria.

Benny Tocker ,

Avi Farhan
Avi Farhan
PR photo

A group of Israeli fishermen and yacht owners are preparing to greet the women's flotilla which set sail on Tuesday from Italy and is making its way to Gaza.

One of the organizers of the initiative is Lt. Avi Farhan, a former resident of Gush Katif and one of the founders of Elei Sinai which was evicted during the “Disengagement” from Gaza.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday, Farhan said that the fishermen and yacht owners intend to tell the flotilla’s participants that they’d be better off taking their protest to Syria.

“I know many of the yacht owners in Ashdod and Ashkelon. There are quite a few fishermen in Ashkelon as well and anyone I approached gladly joined the initiative,” he said, adding, “We will approach them with Israeli flags and suggest to them to go to the port of Latakia in Syria, where there are thousands of refugees who need them more than the people of Gaza. Gaza is not lacking anything. They have everything they need.”

Farhan said that the entire premise of the flotilla, with its organizers claiming they want to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, is a "bluff".

"This is a flotilla of provocation. A small yacht leaving from Barcelona and from there to Corsica and southern France. From there they traveled to Sardinia and Sicily. Everywhere they are received with flags and a lot of respect. Now they have a technical failure so they returned to Sicily. But this entire flotilla is a joke,” he told Arutz Sheva.

"I was the governor of Khan Younis," he continued, "and I have friends in Gaza and they are not lacking anything. Even though Gaza is currently controlled by Hamas, they are getting everything they need including medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. If they want to deliver humanitarian aid, they should sail to the port of Latakia in Syria. We will accompany them to Rosh Hanikra and make sure they continue to Syria from there.”

The women’s initiative is one of several recent attempts to break Israel's naval blockade on Gaza, which a UN team has said is completely legal.

The first, and perhaps most famous flotilla, was the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla. When the ships taking part in that flotilla refused to stop and go to the Ashdod Port, IDF soldiers boarded them and were then assaulted by the "humanitarian" activists wielding knives, iron bars and other lethal weapons.

The soldiers were forced to open fire to save their lives, killing ten of their assailants and sparking an international media backlash.

Despite the supposed "humanitarian" aims of the effort, Israel found the flotilla in fact was not carrying any humanitarian aid, or any other type of supplies for that matter.