Israeli sources reported that the army, a number of Israeli security officials and politicians, conducted on Tuesday a drill simulating the interception of the Freedom Flotilla 2, that will be heading to Gaza to deliver medical and humanitarian supplies.The drill started in a special operations room designed for this purpose, while personnel of the several ministries, the offices of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, attended and supervised the simulation.
Israel also prepared videos and documents justifying an attack on the flotilla, and will be ready to be publish the reports on Internet feeds, to media agencies and through SMS messages.
Yuli Edelstein, Israeli Minister of “Information and Diaspora”, supervised the simulation along with other security and military officials, including officials of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Israel will be actively publishing information on Internet feeds, especially on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, in order to counter pro-Palestine feeds described by Tel Aviv as “the enemies of Israel”.
The preparations come after Israel stepped up its threats to intercept the Freedom Flotilla, and even use force, again, to prevent the ships from reaching Gaza.
Several Israeli leaders have started describing human rights activists of planning to attack Israel soldiers should they board the ships.
The Israeli army also claimed that the activists are planning to spray the soldiers with Sulfur, but other government officials denied the report, while the army refused to provide any evidence of the claim.
According to a report published by Israel’s Haaretz paper, army sources stated that several activists said during coordination sessions with organizers of the Flotilla that “they intend to resort to violence, and shed the blood of Israeli soldiers attacking their ships”.
The report added that activists of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), in addition to Muslim and Arab activists will be part of the flotilla, and that they are preparing to use violence against the soldiers.
On Monday, the Israeli Ministerial Council authorized the use of force if needed to enforce the naval siege on Gaza, and to act on preventing any of the ships from reaching the besieged coastal region.
The Israeli Defense Ministry recently suggested forming a court that would sanction the confiscation of all naval equipment and ships that try to break the siege on Gaza.
Last Thursday, United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated that solidarity ships heading to Gaza come in defiance of the Israeli Blockade on the coastal region, and are considered “unnecessary effort that is likely to draw a reaction from Israel”.
On May 31, 2010, Israel attacked the Turkish Mavi Marmara, part of the Freedom Flotilla, killing nine Turkish activists, including a Turkish activist who carried U.S. citizenship.
An investigation by the Turkish government of last year’s Israeli attack released its results two weeks ago, showing that the nine men killed were hit by 30 bullets fired at close range, with five of the men killed by shots to the head.
The 19-year old American citizen who was killed, Furqan Dogan, was killed by five bullets fired at a distance of 45 cm to his face, the back of his head, his leg and his back.
Freedom Flotilla organizers issued several press releases affirming the non-violent nature of their trip to Gaza, and that its only goal is to break the illegal Israeli siege and to deliver urgently needed medical and humanitarian supplies.