One of the ships in the anti-Israel "Freedom Flotilla III" has been "sabotaged," leftist activists claimed Thursday.
"Somebody went underneath the ship at night and sabotaged its propellers, just like they sabotaged the same ship in 2011,” Israeli-born Swedish activist Dror Feiler claimed on the Nazareth-based Al-Shams radio.
Feiler, who has relinquished his Israeli citizenship, is among the virulent anti-Israel activists who joined a Swedish trawler six weeks ago, according to the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News agency - and he claims that the "sabotage" would have sunken the ship if not caught.
The flotilla has been dubbed "Freedom Flotilla 3," a maritime challenge to Israel's legal naval blockade on the coastal enclave of Gaza which is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization.
It 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 exclusively revealed earlier Thursday that the flotilla is indirectly funded by the French government via a pro-Palestinian NGO.
Activists earlier Thursday claimed that Israel had deliberately delayed the flotilla's arrival to pick up some 70 activists in Greece - although Israel's efforts were reportedly diplomatic, not outright sabotage.
Israeli defense officials and media alike are closely monitoring the flotilla's progress.
In the 2010 flotilla the Turkish Mavi Marmara, which claimed to be providing "humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza," defied orders to turn around and dock at the Ashdod port.
After it ignored repeated warnings to change course, the IDF boarded 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 the IHH members 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.