‘Insane:’ Haifa port blockade will cost Israelis ‘millions of shekels’

“What the protesters are doing, using small craft to block the port’s entrance, is absolutely insane.”

By World Israel News Staff

Naval reservists blocked marine access at the Haifa port on Thursday with small vessels that prevented ships from docking, causing “millions of shekels” in damages, a former Navy officer said.

“In a dictatorship, the seas are closed,” the Brothers in Arms protest group, which represents IDF soldiers and officers, said.

“We reserve soldiers, in the missile ships and the routine security ships, the submarine crews, and the naval commandos for generations, are working even now to keep the State of Israel’s maritime borders and its shipping lanes open,” it said.

“We chose to disrupt operations at Haifa port to call in a clear voice to the Israeli government to stop the uncontrolled voyage that will cause the State of Israel to run aground,” the group added.

Shai Rosengarten, a former Navy officer and activist with the pro-Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu, described the move as “insane.”

“The Navy’s mission is to ensure maritime access, to protect the sea routes,” he told Israel National News. “What the protesters are doing is using small craft to block the port’s entrance; it’s absolutely insane.

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“Every day and every hour of docking in the port area is an expensive business that can cost millions of shekels,” he went on, adding that it blockading the ports will “suffocate the Israeli economy” which relies on sea imports for 90% of food, fuel and goods.

According to Rosengarten, the ripple effect of the blockade would be felt by regular Israeli citizens.

“The shipping companies have no guarantee that something like this won’t happen again, so they’ll either choose to dock elsewhere, or the insurance premiums will spike, and either way, this will have a domino effect that will negatively impact all Israeli citizens,” he said.

He added that it was “shocking” that people who understand the damage that such a move could wreak, including decorated Navy veterans, would participate in the blockade.