Hamas to Try Another ‘Reverse Flotilla’ Tuesday

Palestinians ride a boat as they take part in a rally to show solidarity with a Gaza-bound flotilla of international provocateurs attempting to break Gaza’s blockade, at the seaport of Gaza City in 2016. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Hamas on Tuesday will again try to break the Israeli Navy’s blockade of the waters around Gaza, with another “reverse flotilla” – leaving Gaza and headed for Cyprus, as opposed to the previous efforts of European activists to sail ships from Europe into Gaza. At a press conference Monday, officials of the Hamas terror group said that Israel was responsible for the safety of those on the ships, and called on the international community to help Gazans get past Israeli forces.

Tuesday’s flotilla will mark the second time Hamas will be trying this. The terror group organized a flotilla at the end of May, with three boats attempting to get past Israeli Navy boats stationed off the Gaza coast, beyond the area allocated for Gaza fishing boats. The Israeli forces boarded the ships and arrested all those aboard, and impounded the boats at Ashdod Port. While the flotillas coming into Gaza claimed to be carrying medical supplies and food, the ones headed out of Gaza carry nothing but signs, demanding that Israel lift its blockade of Gaza.

The IDF said in a statement after that event that the Gaza sea blockade “is required for the security of Israel, which has a right, according to international law and the United Nations, to protect its borders. The blockade protects against the smuggling of dangerous weapons by terrorists into Gaza. The IDF will continue to defend Israel’s water borders and its citizens.”

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