No entry to Gaza for Jews either: Foreign Ministry officials said Monday that Israel would prevent a Gaza-bound ship carrying nine Israelis, some Jews, and human rights activists from Europe and the United States from reaching the Gaza Strip.
The vessel left a northern Cyprus port Sunday and is expected to reach the Gaza area Tuesday morning. Flotilla members, including former IDF pilot and now leftist activist Yonatan Shapira, have declared their intention to break Israel's Gaza siege. An 82-year-old Holocaust survivor, Reuven Moskowitz, is also on board the ship.
'Jewish ship' heading to Gaza (Photo: AFP)
The Foreign Ministry made it clear that the procedures for handling the ship's arrival have remained identical to those applied to previous vessels. Officials warned that a failure by the ship to follow IDF orders would prompt the army to tow the vessel to the Ashdod Port and hand over its passengers to the police.
"The procedure will be the same as with all other flotillas," foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor told Ynet. "First, radio contact will be established, and they will be asked where they're headed….if they say they're headed to Gaza, we will make it clear that the area faces an international blockade and arrival there is forbidden, and offer that they sail elsewhere."
"If they insist on Gaza, once they enter the forbidden zone they will be detained and towed to Ashdod," he said.