Five years after the Mavi Marmara scandal, a new flotilla leaving for Gaza could cause another international crisis, Channel 2 reports Monday.
The flotilla is expected to join with several Swedish ships this week – and when it approaches Gaza, Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batash has threatened to end the ceasefire with Israel if the Jewish state attempts to stop the provocateurs.
The flotilla has been dubbed "Freedom Flotilla 3," a maritime challenge to Israel's legal naval blockade on the coastal enclave of Gaza which is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization. It's been backed by the European Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza. Members of the European Parliament, journalists, athletes, artists, as well as radical leftist Israelis will be on board.
Israeli defense officials and media alike are closely monitoring the flotilla's progress.
In the 2010 flotilla, the Turkish Mavi Marmara, which claimed to be providing "humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza," defied orders to turn around and dock at the Ashdod port.
After it ignored repeated warnings to change course, the IDF boarded the vessel – only to be attacked by Islamist extremists on board wielding knives and metal bars. The wounded soldiers had no choice but to open fire, resulting in the deaths of ten of the IHH members on board.
After an investigation, Israeli authorities discovered the vessel to be carrying no humanitarian aid – in fact, no aid supplies at all – 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.