Prime Minister Binyamin ordered Israel's defense establishment Monday to interdict the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla 2, Voice of Israel radio reported.
Netanahyu gave the order during a meeting of his Security Cabinet dedicated to preparations Israel was taking in advance of the new flotilla expected to set sail for Gaza this week. The Cabinet voted in favor of a Navy plan to prevent the upcoming flotilla from arriving in Gaza and granted the IDF authority to prevent the ships' arrival by any means necessary.
Earlier Monday, Israel and Egypt agreed to the arrangement whereby ships taking part in the flotilla could opt to unload cargo at El-Arish. Ships that instead try to force their way to Gaza, however, will be boarded, searched, and have their passengers arrested.
Israel's Navy has been gearing up to stop the flotilla, which says it plans to run the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
“We expect the flotilla to set sail later in the week,” IDF sources said. “We are preparing for various scenarios, from no violence to extreme violence.”
The Navy says it plans to stop the flotilla far from Gaza, after issuing a warning that the territory is under a sea blockade. “If the ships continue sailing after being warned, then we will have the right to stop them even if they did not yet enter Gaza’s territorial waters,” a navy official explained.