Gaza-bound 'provocation' ship intercepted by Israel

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

A small yacht carrying nine Jewish activists from Israel and other countries was intercepted and commandeered by Israeli naval commandos as it entered the waters off the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning.

The activists cooperated peacefully with the Israeli boarding team, and the ship was diverted without violence to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

That stood in stark contrast to the so-called “aid” ship the Mavi Marmara intercepted en route to Gaza on May 31, when boarding Israeli commandos were brutally attacked and ended up using deadly force to defend themselves. Critics tried to claim that the Israelis who boarded the Mavi Marmara were bent on violence from the beginning, a claim that was further discredited by Tuesday’s peaceful operation.

The activists aboard Tuesday’s ship said they were trying to draw attention to what they called Israel’s “illegal” blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Israel saw it as nothing more than a provocation.

“It is an unfortunate fact that the Israeli Navy has to be distracted from its acts of preventing terror and weapons-smuggling to Israel’s enemies, and deal with this kind of provocation,” wrote the Israeli army spokesperson.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Andy David also called the ship “a politically motivated provocation,” and said the notion that it was bringing aid to Gaza was “ridiculous.”

The fact is that an enormous amount of aid enters Gaza on a daily basis via land border crossings in southern Israel. Enough food enters Gaza to almost feed everyone for free, but the sad truth is that most of it is stolen and then sold for high prices by Hamas.

And while a wide gap exists between the haves and have-nots in Gaza, it is little different than any other country in the region. Despite the distorted picture painted by mainstream media reports, Gaza has its fair share of luxury entertainment attractions, bustling marketplaces and a booming economy.

However, there is an embargo on the area, and severe travel restrictions as Israel does its best to deny the Gaza terrorists the materials they need to continue waging war.

But the world often ignores the reason for those measures, and that is the firing of thousands of rockets into neighboring southern Israel. Not only that, but the Palestinians of Gaza then elected the very terrorists who were firing the rockets to head their government.

As many have pointed out in regards to Gaza, when someone violently assaults another person, he or she forfeits certain freedoms.

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