Palestinian disappointment: A Gaza activist told Ynet Saturday that local residents were disappointed by the small quantities of food brought in by two boats carrying international leftist activists.
"Many people thought these boats will make a significant contribution to break the siege, not only politically but also in terms of brining in goods, equipment, food, and medicine," he said. "However, once it turned out these boats contain too little food and mostly activists…some people left the beach disappointed."
Hundreds of Gazans reportedly received the leftist activists at the beach. A Hamas source told Ynet the initiative was proven successful, but added that "the Arab and Muslim world should draw lessons and learn from those dozens of activists, because they risked their lives at sea for the sake of Strip residents and against the siege."
The source also slammed Egypt for being "an inseparable part of the siege."
Palestinian boat near Gaza (Photo: AFP)
The wo boats, carrying 44 international left-wing activists, reached the Gaza shore around 6:00 pm Saturday. Earlier, Israel announced that it will allow the boats to reach the Strip.
Foreign Ministry official Aryeh Mekel said Israel allowed the boats to enter Gaza in order to "prevent a media-covered provocation at sea."
"We know who's on these boats and what they contain, and therefore we'll allow them to reach shore," he said. Meanwhile, dozens of Gazans headed to sea in fishing boats to welcome the leftist activists, who includeTunisian, German, and American nationals, as well as an Israeli activist.
Earlier, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Aviv Shiron told Ynet that Israel will allow the boats carrying left-wing activists to reach Gaza.
The Foreign Ministry slammed the leftists and said that they did not deserve to be referred to as "peace activists," branding them as a "handful of provocateurs seeking a public relations stunt who initiated a political protest aimed at boosting Hamas' regime of horrors in Gaza."
"How does such delusional journey promote peace?" the Foreign Ministry added. "What kind of contribution does this journey make to the promotion of ideas of reconciliation and compromise? None."
Israeli officials noted that genuine humanitarian groups can provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population through existing land crossings, branding the leftist activists as "propagandists."
Earlier, Hamas Spokesman Sammy Abu Zuhri said that Israel's initial insistence on torpedoing the arrival of boats carrying international activists headed to Gaza "attests to the Israeli distress caused by this international peace initiative."
Anat Shalev contributed to the report