The Turkish ship Lady Leyla docked in Ashdod's port shortly before 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, carrying the first shipment of humanitarian goods destined for Gaza since Israel and Turkey signed a reconciliation agreement.
The 11-ton ship set out from the port of Mersin on Friday with food, medicine, toys and more. Tomorrow morning trucks will transport the baggage to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
However, a number of demonstrators are gathered at the port in protest against the reconciliation deal. Led by the families of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, two IDF soldiers whose bodies are still being held by Hamas, they intend to block the trucks from leaving.
"My son has been on the other side of the fence for two years now," Shaul's mother Zehava told Walla! news. "Now, after the agreement with Turkey, we think that everything is humanitarian. If so, why are so many trucks entering Gaza but they still are not returning my son?"
She continued by explaining, "We are trying to stop the trucks with our bodies, and we won't let this continue. The Israeli government must understand this. It sent my son, and it is obligated to return him to us.
"If the government doesn't do it, then we will. What do they expect? That we'll sit by quietly?"
Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu), the head of the IDF's Southern Command from 2005 to 2010, assured Walla that "we will bring the boys home, but the Turkish channel was not the right way."
In addition, protesters also gathered at the Kerem Shalom crossing and in front of the Prime Minister's home in Jerusalem last week.