Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has called on Dutch NGOs not to join an international flotilla carrying aid goods for the Gaza Strip.
In a letter to parliament, the minister wrote that the cabinet believes the action will “not make the least contribution to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. However, the minister added that the government cannot stop Dutch ships and Dutch sailors from leaving port.
About 15 ships, possibly including a Dutch vessel, are scheduled to sail from Greece in mid May. The ships will be carrying humanitarian goods and about 1,000 passengers. The flotilla is to arrive in the Gaza Strip at the end of May, exactly one year after the previous flotilla was stopped by the Israeli navy. Nine people – all of them Turkish citizens – were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the flotilla.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide
The Turkish vessel on which nine people were killed in an Israeli raid