The Israeli Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned that it will prevent Freedom Flotilla III from reaching its destination and breaking the siege on Gaza.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nachshon, said: “We are following the third flotilla updates through the media,” adding: “they announced their intention to go to Gaza, but we will not allow this because Gaza is under a naval blockade approved by international law.”
According to Nachshon, “if the so-called helpful Gaza flotillas were really interested in the welfare of the population in Gaza, they would send their aid via Israel,” pointing out that Israel “will return the fleet passengers to their countries.”
When asked whether Israel intends to intercept the fleet, Nachshon said: “It is early to answer this question, but I can say that we will not allow their access to Gaza.”
Freedom Flotilla III spokesman Anwar Al-Maghribi, a member of the European Campaign to end the siege on Gaza, announced that :”the fleet will travel tomorrow from one of the Greek islands to the shores of Gaza, if weather conditions permit.”
Maghribi called on “the United Nations, the European Union and the international community to protect the fleet from assault and piracy.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to intercept the flotilla in international waters, and to consider them “hostile ships”.
The last Freedom Flotilla, led by Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara, was attacked in international waters by Israeli forces on 31 May, 2010, as they tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish activists were killed and 30 other people injured, including one activist who died from their injuries nearly four years after the attack.