(photo credit: MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid on Saturday denounced those taking part in the flotilla to Gaza as “a gang of supporters of terrorism” and a “despicable flotilla that needs to be stopped.”
The former finance minister spoke to a town hall meeting in Holon. He ridiculed the idea that the flotilla was aimed at highlighting the plight of Gaza and advancing Palestinian human rights.
“This flotilla is a kind of provocation against the State of Israel,” he said. “This is a provocation by people who are anything but defenders of human rights.”
“People are trying to portray this flotilla as one that seeks to promote human rights,” Lapid said. “The last thing that you can say about this flotilla is that it has anything to do with human rights. This is a flotilla run by a gang of terrorism supporters, a despicable flotilla that needs to be stopped.”
“Israel needs to deal with this flotilla like it would if it was trying to disperse a violent protest,” he said. “And all of these folks on the flotilla need to be arrested.”
According to Israel Radio, flotilla organizers said that three vessels have managed to embark on their maritime journey to Gaza from various locales in Europe. These three boats are in addition to the Swedish ship Marianne av Göteborg, which began to make its way toward Gaza on Thursday after departing Crete.
The flotilla activists said that close to 50 people are on board the ships, including Joint List MK Basel Ghattas and the former president of Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki.
According to Israel Radio, the flotilla is due to arrive off the shore of Gaza sometime between Monday and Wednesday.