Amid Israel’s efforts to block the arrival of a new international aid flotilla to the blockaded Gaza Strip, Tel Aviv has threatened to confront activists on board the Gaza-bound flotilla.
Speaking on an Israeli radio program, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman branded the participants of the Freedom Flotilla II as “hardcore activists” who are “looking for blood,” and threatened that they would be confronted, should the activists approach the impoverished coastal sliver, AFP reported on Tuesday.
“It is clear that those who are still participating in the flotilla are the hardcore terror activists," Liberman said.
"No one doubts the intention of those people… they will be on board several boats. But I am sure we will cope with them," he added.
Liberman’s remarks come after the organizers of the flotilla convoy said one of the seven boats docked at Greek ports was seriously damaged on Monday night, blaming Israeli agents for the act of “sabotage.”
Israel has forced Greece to halt the voyage of the Freedom Flotilla II convoy to Gaza, which is set to carry pro-Palestinian activists from 22 countries including Canada, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain.
Israel’s security cabinet has ordered the navy to use all possible means to prevent the incoming international aid flotilla from reaching the coastal enclave.
The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish nationals aboard the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other activists that were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.
Some 1.5 million people in Gaza are being denied their basic rights including the freedom of movement and the right to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.