Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday expressed satisfaction with efforts to stop the Gaza-bound flotilla. "We are witnessing a positive development concerning the flotilla," he said.
"The governments of Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey are working to curtail this thing. It's a result of extensive work by the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office.
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"It's obvious to all that Gaza is ultimately open to all civilian goods and it is also obvious that the flotilla is a provocation which elements such as Hamas are exploiting," Barak said. He noted that malfunctions continue to delay the ships from departing.
"I think it's possible that the outcome will take the sting out of this flotilla. But of course we must still prepare for the possibility that some ships will come."
Meanwhile, it was reported that two of the four crew members of the Audacity of Hope ship were allowed to leave the vessel after it was stopped by Greek coast guards on Friday. The British crewmen were released after the British consulate intervened on their behalf.
Greek takeover of American ship
The American and Israeli passengers are still on board while their captain remains in custody. His case will be discussed in court on Tuesday.
It is yet unclear when and how the flotilla will set sail. One of the Free Gaza movement leaders Hawida Araf told Ynet that the groups are still trying to pressure Greece into reversing its decision to ban the ships' departure.
She said they have not ruled out departing without approval but admitted the current flotilla may have run its course. "Israel may stop the flotilla now but not for good. This is not just about the ships, but Israeli policy in general.
"We are part of what goes on in Bilin, Jerusalem and the international movement against Israeli police. We will ultimately set sail and achieve our goals."
Aviel Magnezi contributed to this report
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