(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Over the past few days, the State of Israel repeatedly called to the activists aboard the "Rachel Corrie" vessel, offering that they land at the port of Ashdod, where their cargo will be off-loaded, checked, and transferred to the crossing point into Gaza – accompanied by representatives of the activists and the Government of Ireland.
This offer was formulated in contacts between the Governments of Israel and Ireland.
Unfortunately, the activists rejected this offer, and consequently, the Israeli Navy boarded the ship with full compliance of the ship’s crew members, and redirected it to Ashdod port.
The operation was carried out in a peaceful manner, without incident, as was the case with five of the six vessels of the previous flotilla.
The cargo of the "Rachel Corrie" will be off-loaded in Ashdod.
The activists on board the vessel will be processed by Israeli immigration authorities and will be flown to their countries of origin as soon as possible.
Radio exchange between the Israeli Navy and 7th flotilla ship regarding arrangements to transfer aid to Gaza, 5 June 2010:
In this audio recording of the radio transmission between the Israeli Navy and the 7th flotilla ship, the Israeli Navy offers to transfer all humanitarian supplies on board to Gaza through land crossings in coordination with a third party (including a number of independent aid organizations), so that the Navy would not have to board the ship. Additionally, the Israeli Navy offers that if the ship redirects to dock at Ashdod Port, the cement on board will be transferred into Gaza in coordination with an aid organization to ensure that it is used for civilian purposes.