Dubbed a “reverse flotilla,” vessels from Gaza were carrying anti-Israel activists attempting to reach Israeli territory.
By: World Israel News Staff
Several boats set out from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, claiming they were on their way to “break the Israeli siege” on the coastal enclave.
The vessels were carrying a group of approximately 30 anti-Israel activists, including people allegedly wounded during the riots on the border with Israel.
Alaa Al-Battah, a member of the flotilla’s organizing committee, told Al-Jazeera news that the flotilla “is part of our efforts to peacefully resist and break the siege on Gaza” and “is also a continuation of the demonstrations for the right of return of Palestinians.”
The so-called “Palestinian right of return” is a euphemism for the replacement of the state of Israel with a Palestinian one.
According to initial reports, Israeli naval forces intercepted the boats and prevented the flotilla from crossing the blockade line, six nautical miles off the coast.
Warning shots may have been fired as well, however, the live feed from the incident stopped streaming.
US special envoy Jason Greenblatt slammed Hamas ahead of the incident.
“Shame on all involved in inciting the so called ‘reverse flotilla’ today. Hamas treats this like a play being acted out for a live media audience. But these are real lives Hamas is cynically risking in a grim bid to hold on to power,” he tweeted.
Previous such flotillas were stopped by the Israeli navy without incident.
Israel and Egypt placed a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after the Hamas terror organization violently took control of the Strip. The blockade’s objective is to prevent Hamas’ further military buildup.
Tuesday’s flotilla, dubbed the “reverse flotilla,” also marks eight years since the Mavi Marmara incident, in which a group of vessels attempted to travel to Gaza from Turkey, ostensibly to deliver humanitarian aid and medical supplies. IDF forces boarded the ship and were viciously assaulted. They killed 10 Turkish nationals while defending themselves, and several IDF soldiers suffered wounds as well.
The only humanitarian aid found on board were boxes of expired medications.
The Turkish Islamic Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), a terror group masquerading as an aid organization, was behind the attempt to breach Israel’s sovereign borders and support the Palestinian Hamas terror organization, which rules Gaza.