Hundreds of Israelis on Wednesday held a solidarity flotilla to salute IDF soldiers and Navy commandos. The convoy, which included dozens of yachts and boats from the bay of Eilat, was organized by yacht owners at the local marina who felt the need to express solidarity with the fighters that stopped the aid convoy to Gaza.
In a display of patriotism, dozens of watercrafts sailed into the open bay while hoisting Israeli flags and signs reading: "Eilat salutes the security forces and the Navy," "Eilat thanks the soldiers of the IDF" and "Israel doesn’t need to apologize for self-defense."
Show of support (Photo: Ezra Arbeli)
During the show of support, the boats honked, dispersed orange smoke grenades and launched fireworks, while the local sailing club children called out "el-el-Israel."
When the flotilla passed near the navy military base, they were greeted by soldiers on board the Dabur class patrol boat.
One after another, the skippers greeted the soldiers over the radio and thanked them for their activities.
"Enough with the self-lashing; today we need to stand tall and salute the IDF soldiers because we have a reason to be proud," said Arik Amir, one of the yacht owners who participated in the flotilla.
Meanwhile, some locals were not as pleased with the initiative, claiming the city of Eilat usually does not interfere with political issues and such a demonstration might "bring politics into the bay of Eilat, which an anger the Jordanians watching from Aqaba and undermine the good relations between the two cities."