Watch: This is how Hamas exploited the flotilla participants

Fishing boat that tried to break naval blockade on Gaza included mainly sick and disabled people, who were even treated by the IDF.

Ido Ben Porat ,

IDF medics treat Gazans at sea
IDF medics treat Gazans at sea
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Israeli Navy on Tuesday stopped a Palestinian Arab fishing boat which was attempting to violate the naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.

On board the fishing boat, which was headed towards Cyprus, were a number of Palestinian Arabs suffering from disability and illness. This was part of a coordinated and organized flotilla organized by Hamas, which included other fishing boats that accompanied the fishing boat at the start of its journey. The fishing boat was stopped without incident.

The IDF said that "this is yet another incident that takes place as part of the violent disturbances organized by the Hamas terrorist organization and under whose auspices it carries out terrorist activities. Hamas paid Gazan residents to participate in an attempt to violate the naval blockade. This is a cynical use of civilians and sick people."

"The naval blockade was imposed on the Gaza Strip for security reasons as part of the armed conflict with Hamas, and the IDF will continue to enforce it to ensure the security of the residents of the State of Israel," officials in the defense establishment said.

Meanwhile, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Kamil Abu Rukon, published on Thursday evening a post on COGAT’s Arabic-language Facebook page in which he revealed that the Hamas terrorist organization paid $300 to every person who took part in this week’s flotilla.

"Just think of what could have been done in the Gaza Strip with all the dollars that Hamas wasted on a showcase flotilla that did not lead to any achievement and only creates unnecessary provocations and jeopardizes the gestures given to the fishermen," he said.

"For those who were wondering, the boat was stopped by the navy and the flotilla’s participants were returned to the Gaza Strip despite begging not to go back there. This is another cynical attempt by Hamas to exploit the distress of the residents of the Gaza Strip," wrote Abu Rukon.

There have been previous attempts to break the naval blockade on Gaza. The most notable was the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, in which nine Turkish Islamists were killed as they ignored Israeli calls to turn the vessel around and dock at the Ashdod Port.

Upon inspection, it was discovered that there was no humanitarian aid whatsoever aboard the Marmara despite the Islamists’ claims otherwise.

More recently, an initiative to break the naval blockade scheduled for June was announced by the head of the Palestinian Forum in Europe.