Netanyahu: Israel Has Every Right to Stop Gaza Flotilla

Activists say Israel is responsible for 'attempted murder' for allegedly sabotaging propeller shaft of an Irish ship, forcing it to pull out of the voyage.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Israel is fully entitled to try to stop an upcoming flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break Israel's naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled enclave, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday.

"Israel has the full right to operate against efforts to smuggle missiles, rockets and other weapons to Hamas's terror enclave. Hamas is a ruthless enemy, who maliciously harms our cities and children," he said at a graduating ceremony for Israel Air Force pilots.

Netanyahu and Peres at the IAF flight school graduation, June 30, 2011Credit: GPO

The flotilla is expected to sail for the Gaza Strip in the coming days, after its departure was reportedly delayed due to damage to some of the vessels, which the organizers of the armada have blamed on Israeli sabotage.

On Thursday, an Irish ship, the MV Saoirse, was forced to pull out of the voyage, and flotilla activists said the ship had been put out of action by Israeli "saboteurs."

Earlier in the week another ship, the Swedish-Greek Juliano, was also damaged in the Greek port of Piraeus.

The Irish Ship to Gaza (ISG) campaign showed a film of the damage done to the MV Saoiree at a press conference in Dublin, claiming that it was "deliberate sabotage" by Israeli agents. A chunk was found to be missing from the ship's propeller shaft Monday night in the Athens port of Piraeus. The activists say it could not have been done accidentally.

"This was done by hostile divers and identical sabotage was carried out to the Swedish ship, Juliana," ISG spokesman Raymond Deane told DPA. "The inference is that the saboteurs were Israeli," he said.

"This is attempted murder. The damage done to the propeller means that the ship could have sailed but the propeller would have come up through the hull after some time. We are a small ship and we would have gone down," Deane added.

The Israeli embassy in Dublin said it had no connection with the incident and no information on it, Ireland's national broadcaster RTE reported.

Six of the 20 crew and passengers who intended to sail on the MV Saoiree will transfer to another ship in the flotilla, ISG said. Those include former Ireland rugby player Trevor Hogan and Paul Murphy, a Socialist Party Member of the European Parliament, as well as ISG campaign coordinator Fintan Lane. They are joining activists on board the joint Italian and Dutch ship in the flotilla.

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday the U.S. has seen no independent confirmation of the ships having been sabotaged, yet nevertheless stated that "our opinion that's been stated very clearly from the State Department, both from the secretary down to this podium, is that these flotillas are a bad idea."



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

NOW: 40% OFF
Already signed up? LOG IN


הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile