Netanyahu 311 reuters.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke on Friday with UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon, asking him to work toward stopping a planned flotilla scheduled to
arrive in Gaza in May.
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Netanyahu told Ban that the flotilla was being
organized partly by radical Islamists, whose aim is to provoke and cause
Netanyahu said in a statement that today Gaza is open to all
types of goods through land borders. “Because of the attempt to smuggle weapons
into Gaza by sea, Israel must act with force against the flotilla.”
spokesman Farhan Haq issued a statement saying Ban “noted Prime Minister
Netanyahu’s concerns about possible flotilla shipments for Gaza.
secretary-general reiterated that there are land routes available for those
wishing to send humanitarian assistance to Gaza,” Haq said. “He stressed as well
that Israel should take meaningful steps to end the closure of
Earlier in March, pro-Palestinian movements in Europe, including
the Free Gaza movement, said they planned to send another flotilla to Gaza in
mid-May. Organizers have said that the flotilla will include 15 ships from a
number of different countries, with thousands expected to
“We sail not just for Gaza,” the group said in a March 31
posting on its website. “We sail to confront an entire apartheid regime that
must be dismantled through citizen action.”
At its meeting in Amsterdam,
the Free Gaza movement urged the governments of participating nationals to take
the necessary steps to protect those nationals who will participate, the Kuwait
News Agency reported. The flotilla will reportedly be called “Freedom Fleet
Last year, a flotilla from Turkey aroused controversy when nine
passengers were killed as IDF soldiers intercepted one of the ships, the Mavi
Marmara. Turkey has called on Israel to apologize for the deaths of the
citizens, and to provide compensation to the families of those who
Israel has agreed to provide compensation, but refused to admit
that its actions were unlawful and accept blame.
The Turkel Committee,
established in Israel to investigate the events surrounding the Mavi Marmara
raid, concluded that the IDF conducted its operation following international
law, whereas a Turkish investigation found that Israeli soldiers shot five
victims at close range, and that two were killed before the soldiers even
boarded the ship.