Foreign Ministry Working to Head Off Gaza Flotilla

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli Foreign Ministry is working intensively to prevent the next Gaza flotilla from reaching Israeli territorial waters from Greece.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Sunday that the Ministry is making use of all available diplomatic channels to head off any provocative incident.

Hotovely said that the claims made that they want to deliver humanitarian aid are bogus, and that contrary to Palestinian propaganda, Israel allows into Gaza humanitarian aid, food and construction supplies.
“Flotillas like the one making its way to Israel is the handiwork of provocateurs who only want to make Israel look bad,” she said.

Meanwhile, the declared intention of Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas to join the flotilla has created a furor.

Ghattas sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon saying that he will board the ship.

“There is no reason to prevent us from reaching Gaza and administering the aid that we are bringing with us,” he wrote. “I call on you to instruct the Israeli Defense Forces to stay away from the flotilla and allow us safe passage. Taking over the ships and preventing them from reaching Gaza will only embroil Israel in another international crisis, for which you and your government will bear responsibility.”

Yisrael Beitenu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman said, “The whole purpose of the Joint Arab List is to hurt the state of Israel, while using Israeli democracy in an attempt to destroy it. Israeli society must stop these hypocritical games, and act to remove this bunch of terrorist supporters from within us.”

The three-ship flotilla is reportedly organized by Swedish pro-Palestinian activists.