In an incident that mercifully did not mirror their 2010 attack on the aid ship the Mavi Marmara, Israeli troops today boarded and captured another Gaza-bound aid ship, forcing it to dock in Ashdod. All on board were arrested, though there were no casualties.
The latest ship, the Marianne, was carrying activists to the Gaza Strip, along with medical aid and solar panels. It is unclear what happened to the aid, which was on board when the ship left for the Gaza, but Israel now claims there was no such aid on the ship.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also claimed in his statement that “there is no blockade on the Gaza Strip,” which makes it puzzling that the Israeli Navy carried out this whole military operation explicitly because of a “violation” of this blockade.
Israeli officials often issue contradictory statements about such incidents as they try to manage the international fallout from yet another operation preventing the delivery of aid. The claims get more puzzling by the minute, however, with the Prime Minister’s office issuing a statement about the aid flotilla condemning the Iranian government out of the blue, and Ya’alon defending and denying the existence of the blockade in his same statement.