These boats could be operated by 3 year olds in nappies sucking bottles of mother's milk and the Israelis would act the same way.
Israel is warning organizers of another pro-Palestinian flotilla heading for Gaza that violence will be met with violence.
A senior Israeli military source briefed a select group of news organizations including Sky News to deliver the message as activists in Turkey and Greece prepare to set sail.
He spoke anonymously in keeping with Israeli military rules on briefing journalists.
“We’ll do anything that we have to stop these ships breaking a security maritime blockade.”
The uncompromising threat comes despite the risk of a repeat of the military and PR debacle during Israel’s previous operation to prevent the breach of its sea blockade of Gaza.
In May last year, elite Israeli commandos, rappelling from helicopters onto the Mavi Marmara aid vessel. Israel claims they were overwhelmed by activists armed with knives and clubs.
When they lost control they were ordered to open fire and killed nine activists, most ~ according to Turkish doctors ~ shot at close quarters, some in the back.
The outrage that followed forced Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza.
The Israeli source insisted the military had learned lessons from last year’s botched operation but said there was a limit to which PR considerations could determine Israel’s ability to safeguard its security.
“If the same violence will be on board, there is a pretty good chance there will be injuries on board.”
Israel insists it has a right to enforce a maritime blockade because it is in a state of armed conflict with the rulers of Gaza.
World leaders including David Cameron have urged the organizers of this latest flotilla to cancel their plans. Israel’s easing of the blockade undermines the need to send aid by sea, it is argued.
But its organizers say the flotilla is about more than shipping aid. They also hope to more generally highlight the plight of Gazans. Israel has not lifted its draconian ban on exports out of the desperately poor coastal strip, with devastating consequences on its private sector economy.
Critics including Tony Blair, Quartet Special Envoy, have told Israel the export ban weakens civil society and the middle classes in Gaza and strengthens extremists including Hamas. Recent figures suggest unemployment has reached almost 50%, partly because of Israel’s export ban.