Ship is determined to break Gaza blockade, not sail to Egypt.
The navy went on high alert Sunday as activists behind a Libyan-backed ship that set sail from Greece the day before expressed determination to sail directly for Gaza, and not El-Arish in the Sinai, in an attempt to break Israel’s naval blockade.
Defense officials said the navy was tracking the ship and had put forces on standby in case it needed to board the vessel, as it did when confronted with the Gazabound flotilla in late May
Violent resistance aboard one of those ships, the Mavi Marmara, left nine Turkish activists dead.
The navy, the officials said, would make contact with the ship while it was still far from Gaza, likely in international waters, and request that it follow naval vessels into Ashdod Port. If it refuses or does not agree to sail to Egypt, Israel has prepared plans to commandeer it.
Government officials called the entire episode “superfluous.”
“Maybe no one told the Libyans, or the information has not yet reached them, but following the cabinet decision a couple weeks ago, civilian cargo now goes into Gaza,” one official said.
“This exercise is both a superfluous and unnecessary gesture.”
The official said Israel would allow no ship to break the “security envelope” around the Gaza Strip, but added that the organizers could bring the vessel into Ashdod, and that Israel would allow representativesfrom the boat to accompany the cargo – reportedly some 2,000 tons of rice, sugar and corn oil – into Gaza.
Full story: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=181133