After Israel attacked the Turkish “Marmara” solidarity ship trying to send humanitarian and medical supplies to Gaza, and killed nine nonviolent activists before towing the ship to Haifa, Haifa mayor, Yona Yahav, presented a plan that aims at turning the ship into a floating hotel. Israel attacked and seized the ship nearly a month and a half ago, and took it to the port of Haifa where it still stands heavily guarded by the Israeli military and navy.
After attacking the ship, Israel claimed it would transfer the humanitarian supplies to Gaza but did not decide what to do with the Turkish ship itself while Turkey is demanding releasing the ship and sending it back to Ankara.
Israeli Paper, Maariv, said that Haifa mayor decided not to wait until Israel decides the fate of the ship, and sent urgent letters to the Israeli Defense Ministry demanding Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, to confiscate the ship and turn it into a tourist project.
Mayor Yona Yahav is demanding that the ship’s ownership should be turned to the municipality in order to transform it into a floating hotel.
He said that he “believes that Haifa, the city that became a model for Arab-Jewish coexistence, is the likely host for this ship, that will become an international symbol for hope and tolerance”.
The Al Arabiyya TV interviewed an Arab cameraman from the 1948 areas who said that newlywed couples come to the ship to take pictures as it became a famous symbol.
Arab couples who take pictures near the ship consider it as a symbol of pride and courage shown by the activists who were heading to Gaza on a humanitarian mission, and were brutally attacked by the Israeli Army and navy.
They said that they go there to take pictures near the ship to keep the memory in their hearts and minds.