Science Minister Danny Danon (Likud) on Monday welcomed the Israeli Navy's action in intercepting the first ship of the third flotilla aiming to oppose Israel's legal naval blockade against Hamas in Gaza.
"I want to bless the Israel Defense Forces soldiers, the naval commandos, who acted firmly and gave a very clear message that we will guard our sovereignty and won't allow any source to breach the blockade," Danon told Arutz Sheva.
The Swedish ship Marianne was boarded by the navy and brought in to Ashdod Port where its contents will be inspected. Another three ships are on their way towards Gaza.
Danon turned his attention to Arab MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List), who was among those on board the captured Marianne.
"His place isn't in the legislature building, his place is in prison," Danon said of Ghattas, who despite being a member of the Israeli Knesset took part in an attempt to breach Israel's legal blockade which is meant to prevent Hamas terrorists from smuggling in weapons to use against Israeli civilians.
"I've turned to the attorney general with a request to clearly state that whoever visits a hostile entity will not be able to run for the next Knesset," said Danon. "I believe that we will be able to prevent Ghattas from being elected to the Knesset again."
Ghattas is following the footsteps of pro-Hamas Arab MK Hanin Zoabi, also of his joint list party, who took part in the infamous 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla that set off the subsequent flotilla attempts.
In the Marmara incident, the ship repeatedly defied orders to turn around and dock at the Ashdod port and ignored repeated warnings to change course, forcing IDF troops to board the vessel – only to be attacked by Islamist extremists wielding knives and metal bars. The wounded soldiers had no choice but to open fire, resulting in the deaths of ten of Islamists on board.
After an investigation, Israeli authorities discovered the vessel to be carrying no humanitarian aid, indicating how the true goal of the provocative move was to open Gaza to free naval access, which it has consistently used to smuggle in weapons to be targeted against Israel.