The Israeli Minister of Social Welfare, Yitzhak Herzog, has confirmed his government will stop the Freedom Flotilla from reaching Gaza unconditionally. According to Herzog, however, the Israeli government will allow the flotilla to reach its destination and distribute its aid unhindered in return for a promise to release Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier being held prisoner by Hamas.
Hebrew Radio quoted Herzog on Sunday saying, "It would not be acceptable to permit the convoy of ships to reach Gaza unless its organisers vow to release the soldier, Gilad Shalit, from the Strip."
The Minister also claimed that the international convoy of ships heading for the besieged Gaza Strip is "a purely provocative operation aimed at bewildering the State of Israel". Stretching the listeners' gullibility even further, he said that Gaza "is not facing a humanitarian crisis and does not suffer from food shortages".