Despite claiming that their purpose is humanitarian, the actions of the 2010 Gaza flotilla organizers reveal their goal to be explicitly political. As noted earlier this week in the New York Times, the boat called “The Audacity of Hope” is carrying with it no aid. Its sole purpose is not to bring food – of which 385 truckloads are delivered weekly by Israel to the Gaza Strip – but to openly and flagrantly violate Israel’s lawfully imposed naval blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Indeed, in an article earlier this week in the Huffington Post, one of the boat’s organizers freely admits that her goal is not to deliver goods or materials into the Gaza Strip. It is clear that the goal of the flotilla organizers is provocation: to challenge Israel’s right of self-defense against a terrorist group that has caused close to a million Israeli civilians to live under the constant threat of attack for the better part of a decade.
“There’s a reason why Israel needs to impose this blockade: Just this past April, Hamas targeted an Israeli school bus with one of its missiles and a child riding on the bus was killed,” said IDF Spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich. A few months ago, Israel intercepted the “Victoria,” a vessel en route from Iran to Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The ship claimed its cargo contained “lentils and cotton,” but in reality it smuggled “a large cargo of sophisticated weaponry.”
Given these volatile regional realities, the Israel Navy must prevent all vessels from reaching Gaza’s shores–including the US boat–“The Audacity of Hope.” All ships carrying goods and materials to the Gaza Strip, may dock and unload cargo at Israel’s Ashdod port. Israeli authorities will ensure the transfer of all items to the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom land crossing, as it does on a weekly basis.