The Israel military will use all its potentials to stop a new international aid flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip, a top navy official says.
The official said the Israeli Navy commandos have undergone specialized trainings over the past months and are now fully prepared to stop the aid convoy challenging Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory.
A coalition of 22 activist groups said, on Monday during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of Israel’s deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, that the second Freedom Flotilla will set sail for Gaza in late June.
At least nine Turkish activists were killed and many others wounded after Israeli navy commandos attacked the aid flotilla in international waters on May 31 last year.
According to Israeli military sources, the members of the Israeli Navy commando unit, Shayetet 13, who carried out last year’s attack, are preparing to counter the new aid convoy.
According to the Israeli media, commandos have revised their tactics in the wake of the May 31, 2010 raid that drew international condemnation.
International activists say 15 ships, including the Mavi Marmara which was the lead ship in the first Freedom Flotilla, with some 1,500 activists from about 100 countries on board will leave for Gaza from various Mediterranean ports around June 20.
The vessels carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials would meet in international waters south of Cyprus before heading to Gaza, organizers said.
The activists have also called on government to ensure that the deadly incident would not happen again.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have reportedly asked their counterparts abroad to prevent their nationals from boarding the ships.