Previous sail to Gaza
Photo: Reuters

Turkey rejects Israeli deal on Gaza sail

Israel offers to take humanitarian aid into Strip in exchange for calling off of 'Break the Siege' sail

Israel tried to prevent naval conflict between its forces and peace activists sailing to Gaza by propositioning a number of states to transfer humanitarian aid equipment through its territory instead, but Turkey objected, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.


Ten boats carrying food, clothing, and construction materials to residents of the Gaza Strip left Monday from a number of countries participating in the 'Break the Siege' sail. Some 700 activists on board intend to reach Gaza by Thursday.


Israel, in its efforts to prevent clashes between its soldiers and the activists, pressed some of the participating countries to cancel the sail.


The state propositioned Turkey to transfer its humanitarian aid equipment to Ashdod, from where it would be taken by the UN and international organizations into the Strip, under Israel's supervision.


In exchange for transferring the equipment to Gaza, Israel asked that Turkey call off the sail to the Strip, however the latter rejected the offer.


Major General Eitan Dangot, coordinator of government activities in the (Palestinian) territories, suggested the deal to the Turkish ambassador recently, who said Turkey was not responsible for the sail.


Meanwhile the Navy is preparing for the boats' arrival on Thursday, with many fearing clashes between soldiers and activists when the latter are not allowed through.


The Navy believes activists will try to create conflict and then record the clashes that ensue in order to embarrass the IDF.


Soldiers will be ordered to seize the boats and take them to Ashdod's shores, where a special detention area has been set up for Palestinian and international activists taken into the army's custody.


Itamar Eichner contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 05.25.10, 11:11
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