The Israeli navy thwarted an attempted by Hamas to breach the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
A boat of 17 Gazan protestors affiliated with the “March of Return” was purportedly attempting to breach the Israeli blockade and reach Cyprus carrying a group of Gazans hoping to receive medical treatment.
“The halting of the boat was executed without any special events,” IDF said, adding that it will be towed to a naval base in Ashdod. “If necessary, the IDF will provide medical support to treat the sick and disabled on the boat … and the Palestinians will later be returned to Gaza.”
“The terrorist organization Hamas, which stands behind the attempt to breach the maritime blockade, is seeking to produce a cynical display that will only harm the civilians of Gaza and the aid that is brought into Gaza by Israel and other countries,” added the IDF.
The flotilla coincided with the eighth anniversary of the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, where nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli commandos while attempting to reach Gaza.
Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, condemned the flotilla, saying Hamas is risking the lives of Gazans.
“Shame on all involved in inciting the so-called ‘reverse flotilla’ today,” Greenblatt said on Twitter.
“Hamas treats this like a play being acted out for a live media audience. But these are real lives Hamas is cynically risking in a grim bid to hold on to power,” he said. “This flotilla is one more step backwards for Hamas, and their leadership is dragging the Palestinians of Gaza with them.”