'Problem in Gaza is arms buildup not humanitarian crisis'

Speaking to Independence faction, Ehud Barak calls flotilla "unnecessary provocation," and says "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza."

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 27, 2011 14:34
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Gaza's real problem is not a humanitarian crisis but the fact that Hamas continues to build weapons arsenals there, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Monday during a meeting with his Independence faction.

Commenting on a flotilla scheduled to set sail for Gaza in the coming days, Barak called the plan an "unnecessary provocation," and stressed that "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza."

RELATED:
Government reviews warning to Gaza flotilla reporters
Navy readies to prevent flotilla from reaching Gaza
US issues stern warning to Gaza flotilla activists

"The real problem in Gaza is that [Hamas] continues to hold [captured IDF soldier] Gilad Schalit and to build up weapons arsenals," he said.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Emphasizing that there was no problem in getting humanitarian supplies to the Strip, the defense minister said "We asked the organizers to stop the provocation.

"I ordered the IDF to block the ships," he said. "If there is a conflict or damage, it will be the responsibility of the flotilla organizers."

Barak's comments come after the security cabinet on Monday approved a Navy plan to prevent the upcoming flotilla from approaching Gaza's shores and giving the IDF authority to prevent the ships' arrival by any means necessary while trying to avoid casualties.
 

During the Independence faction meeting, Barak also commented on efforts to release Gilad Schalit, saying, "We are doing everything possibile to get him free."

On the Iran's plan to hold a large-scale military drill and test long-range missiles, Barak said, "The Iranians have missiles that can reach far. They are continuing to develop abilities to attack. We are following the drill and its influence."

JPost.com staff contributed to this report.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN