Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed Monday that the Freedom Flotilla solidarity ships, planning to send aid and humanitarians supplies to the Gaza Strip, are a provocation that must be stopped.During a meeting with European Union ambassadors, Netanyahu claimed that the flotilla planned for May is a “provocative voyage meant to ignite tension in the whole region”.
The Israeli Prime Minister further claimed that solidarity ships to the besieged people of Gaza “do not carry a mission of peace”, and that “there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip”.
He urged the ambassadors to tell their governments that they should not allow the sail of the flotilla from European Ports.
The new solidarity flotilla plans to sail to Gaza in May, as the month of May marks one year after the Israeli Navy and army commandos boarded the Turkish solidarity ship that was part of the Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza to deliver medical and humanitarian supplies, killing nine Turkish activists and wounding dozens, before towing the ship to Ashdod Port.
Netanyahu’s statements are not new as Israel launched a campaign that is meant to pressure European governments into preventing solidarity ships from sailing from European Ports.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has been active in contacting different governments, including the governments of Britain, Spain, Sweden and Ireland, to advise their citizens against joining solidarity ships heading to Gaza.
Last month, the President of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, visited Tel Aviv, and stated that his government issued an order more than a year ago banning ships from sailing to the Gaza Strip from all ports in the country, and that the order remains in place.