The Minister of Defense has issued warrants prohibiting the entrance of the vessels to Gaza. Israel has advised the relevant countries of this ban, and requested they prevent the departure of the vessels.

 Israel invites the international flotilla to unload its cargo in Ashdod port

 

D-G Gal with Swedish Ambassador Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier today in Jerusalem (Photo: MFA)

(Communicated by the MFA Spokesperson)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General Yossi Gal separately summoned today (Thursday, 27 May 2010) the ambassadors of Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden and Ireland – the countries from which the ships participating in the flotilla set sail.

At all the meetings, D-G Gal expressly clarified the State of Israel’s official position, which declares the flotilla an absolute provocation: There is no shortage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, as food products, fuel and supplies are constantly transferred into the Gaza Strip by the international organizations. Therefore, the flotilla organizers are invited to dock at Ashdod port, to unload their cargo and transfer it to Gaza, after a security check, either via the Israeli authorities or via the humanitarian organizations.

D-G Gal emphasized that Gaza is under the control of a terrorist organization, which does not prioritize the wellbeing of the citizens of Gaza. This organization, under the patronage of Iran, continues to arm itself with ammunition and rockets, and to perpetuate a situation of armed conflict with Israel, after years of targeting Israeli civilians. Israel has the inherent natural right, therefore, to prevent the unsupervised transfer of supplies to Gaza. The Deputy General added that Israel would not allow the flotilla to reach Gaza.

D-G Gal stressed that Gilad Shalit has been languishing in Gaza for four years, while the Hamas blatantly breaches his elementary rights, and does not even allow the Red Cross to visit him.

This is the third round of talks with the ambassadors, and is in addition to parallel activities undertaken by Israeli ambassadors in the various countries warning the governments that the flotilla is about to break international law. In accordance with the authority granted to the State of Israel, the Minister of Defense issued warrants that prohibit the entrance of the vessels to Gaza. Israel has advised the relevant countries of this ban, and requested they prevent the departure of the vessels.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has arranged with the Ministry of Defense to assist the relevant government ministries in their handling of the passengers on the flotilla in order to assist them in leaving the country as soon as possible. The Consular Services Department has contacted the foreign embassies in Israel and explained the measures expected to be implemented against the participants in the flotilla. The MFA’s situation room will also be reinforced in order to provide a response to developments.