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Arab MK to join Gaza flotilla

MK Basel Ghattas from the Joint (Arab) List will join pro-Palestinian activists on a three-vessel flotilla headed for Gaza’s shores over the next few days in a bid to break the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt.

In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Ghattas writes that he intends to be part of the flotilla and does not fear the consequences of such an act, according to Ynet.

In the missive, Ghattas reportedly warns Netanyahu and Ya’alon to instruct security forces to let the flotilla through and not intercept it lest Israel get involved “in yet another international diplomatic crisis that you and your government will have been responsible for.”

Balad MK Basel Ghattas (photo credit: Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)
MK Basel Ghattas (photo credit: Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)

The flotilla is reportedly headed for Crete before setting sail for Gaza.

In 2010, Israeli commandos intercepted the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in a flotilla dispatched to Gaza by the Turkish relief agency Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), and were violently attacked by those on board, with several soldiers seriously injured. Nine Turks died when the commandos opened fire in what Israel said was self-defense, and one more died in hospital last year.

The assault on the ship sparked widespread condemnation and provoked a major diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel.

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