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Netanyahu: Israel has every right to stop Gaza flotilla

Activists say Israel is responsible for 'attempted murder' for allegedly sabotaging propeller shaft of an Irish ship, forcing it to pull out of the voyage.

By DPA and Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz

June 30, 2011 | 3:25 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel is fully entitled to try to stop an upcoming flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled enclave, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday.

“Israel has the full right to operate against efforts to smuggle missiles, rockets and other weapons to Hamas’s terror enclave. Hamas is a ruthless enemy, who maliciously harms our cities and children,” he said at a graduating ceremony for Israel Air Force pilots.

The flotilla is expected to sail for the Gaza Strip in the coming days, after its departure was reportedly delayed due to damage to some of the vessels, which the organizers of the armada have blamed on Israeli sabotage.

On Thursday, an Irish ship, the MV Saoirse, was forced to pull out of the voyage, and flotilla activists said the ship had been put out of action by Israeli “saboteurs.”

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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