Gaza Sunset 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
While the IDF continued Wednesday to track the Iranian ships en route to the
Gaza Strip, the Navy was put on high alert amid fears that another flotilla
would be launched from Lebanon, leaving – due to the short distance – little
time to stop it.
RELATED:Navy braces for next flotillas
A cargo ship left Iran earlier this week and is expected
to try and break the Israeli-imposed siege on Gaza as early as the
Another ship is scheduled to join at the beginning of next week.
The IDF is closely tracking the ships but is particularly concerned about the
possibility that a number of ships will set sail from Lebanon, possibly even
with Hizbullah operatives aboard.
“There is not a lot of time to stop
fast ships that come from Lebanon,” an IDF officer explained, “Practically, it means that the Navy has to
be on high alert around the clock.”
The Navy will likely first try to
stop the ships by calling on them to stop at sea and far from the Gaza
This worked successfully during Operation Cast Lead when an
Iranian ship tried breaking the siege but was turned back by the Navy
boarding. If this fails, the Navy has prepared Flotilla 13, known as the
Shayetet, to head up an operation like it did two weeks ago in stopping
international aid flotilla from Turkey.
Meanwhile, Bulent Yildirim, head
of the Turkish organization IHH which was behind the last flotilla
Israel, announced on Wednesday that his organization would send six more
to Gaza in July. He said that the family members of the nine Turks
board the Mavi Marmara passenger ship have requested to join the next
Also Wednesday, the International Red Cross distanced itself
from the Iranian flotilla, which is reportedly being organized by the
Red Crescent. The Iranian boats, the ICRC said, were from the
Crescent, which is a different organization.