Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, hours after Israel's Navy boarded the Swedish ship Marianne, which is taking part in the latest flotilla trying to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.
"I would like to express my appreciation to the sailors of the Israel Navy for their perfect and precise operation in stopping the ship off the coast of Gaza," Netanyahu stated.
The Prime Minister condemned the flotilla as "hypocritical," particularly as "Israel has delivered 1.6 million tons of materials to Gaza, more than any other country, in a clear manner, as our unequivocal policy" since the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge.
"This means almost a ton of equipment for every resident, 800 trucks a day," he explained.
"I would compare this to the cargo of this boat. Approximately 500,000 such boats laden with goods – this is what compares to what Israel has transferred," Netanyahu stressed. "Thus, there is no need for this."
"Neither is there any problem, if they want to deliver humanitarian goods to Gaza, it is possible to do so via the land crossings, with Israel filtering out – of course – the possibility of transferring weapons through these crossings."
Instead, Netanyahu charged, the participants of the flotilla "chose to be defiant."
"They could have sailed to Syria, where over 300,000 people have been slaughtered, millions have lost their homes and millions have been exiled from their country, but they chose to demonstratively provoke the State of Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East, which is fighting terrorists that deliberately fire at its citizens and who intentionally hide behind Palestinian civilians."
"Therefore, this flotilla is rife with hypocrisy and I am pleased to say that its public and propaganda effect is less because people around the world are beginning to understand the lie involved here," Netanyahu concluded.