The Israeli Defence Forces have a duty and a right to defend the civilian population of Israel, who are the victims of frequent acts of terrorism. In particular, the Israeli men, women and children living in southern Israel have to endure ongoing and indiscriminate rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Rockets are still being launched at an average rate of one every week.
Those on board the Mavi Marmara sought to challenge a known naval blockade intended to stop weapons being imported into Gaza. Many previous attempts to smuggle arms into Gaza have been made, and also stopped by the IDF. A rocket that arrives in Gaza on one day will be launched towards the civilian population of Israel the next. This is what is ‘unacceptable’, not the efforts of the Israeli Navy to defend the lives of Israelis.
The UN agrees with Israel that those wishing to send aid to Gaza should do so by land. UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky stated last week, "there are established routes for supplies to enter by land. That is the way aid should be delivered to the people of Gaza… Our stated preference has been and remains that aid should be delivered by established routes, particularly at a sensitive time in indirect proximity talks between Palestinians and Israelis,"
As the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Ron Prossor has said, “the people of Gaza are the prisoners of the terrorist organisation Hamas. The situation in Gaza is the direct result of Hamas’ rule and priorities.
“We know that the Prime Minister would also share our grave concerns about our own prisoner in the Gaza Strip, Gilad Shalit, who has been held hostage there for over four years, without receiving a single Red Cross visit”.
Director of Public Affairs
The Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland
020 8202 0202