Israel will not allow unauthorized boats to enter its territorial waters, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday as a trawler left Sweden Sunday intending to break the legal naval blockade of Gaza.
Without relating to the specific Swedish boat, named Marianne of Gothenburg, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said that “if the so-called helpful Gaza flotillas were really interested in the welfare of the population in Gaza, they would send their aid via Israel. The fact that they insist on a flotilla demonstrates this is an unnecessary provocation.”
The Marianne is the first ship in the Freedom Flotilla III to leave for Gaza, according to the website of Ship to Gaza Sweden, one of two groups that purchased the vessel. It is scheduled to stop at ports in Helsingborg, Malmö and Copenhagen, as well as other ports that will be announced later, according to the website.
The boat does not have room for a significant cargo, but will be carrying solar panels and medical equipment, according to the organization.
It is carrying five crew members and eight passengers. Among the passengers are: extreme left-wing Israeli-born Swedish citizen Dror Feiler, a musician and spokesperson of Ship to Gaza; Henry Ascher, a professor of Public Health and pediatrician; Lennart Berggren, a filmmaker; Maria Svensson, spokesperson of the Feministiskt initiativ; and Mikael Karlsson, chairperson of Ship to Gaza Sweden.