link The Turkish government sent a secret message to Jerusalem Monday, May 24, threatening reprisals if the Israeli Navy prevents the "Freedom Flotilla" of nine boats from reaching the Gaza Strip on May 27Meanwhile, the ECESG said the flotilla will arrive by Friday, among those travelling are 36 journalists working for 21 news agencies, and the boats are equipped with wireless sat transmitters, so the journalists can capture the Israeli pirates terrorizing and attempted kidnapping of the crew, passengers. Not to mention the Israeli pirate's plan to steal the cargo:
debkafile's military and intelligence sources report that the Turkish message was an ultimatum to Israel threatening retaliation against Israeli interests. It is backed by the unreported presence of one or more helicopters on one or more of the Turkish vessels for challenging Israeli Air Force support for the naval blockade.
Three boats set sail from Turkey Sunday, May 23, to rendezvous en route with vessels from the UK, Greece, Algeria, Ireland, Sweden and Kuwait carrying 750 assorted pro-Palestinian activists and $20 m worth of cement, medical equipment and schools supplies. The venture, on behalf of the Turkish-based Humanitarian Aid Foundation is sponsored personally by Prime Minister Recep Erdogen. This foundation is quietly sponsored by Turkish intelligence and all its operations, including the Gaza flotilla, the most ambitious yet for breaking the Israeli blockade on Gaza - drawn from the prime minister's office in Ankara.
Our sources report Erdogan has approved a plan of action whereby when Israeli warships and naval commandoes board the vessels to prevent them reaching Gaza, the helicopter carrying the leading activists will take off, fly over their heads and land in Gaza. The assumption is that the Israeli Air Force will not dare to intercept the helicopter and bring it down while still offshore for fear of an international outcry against a purported humanitarian mission.
Jerusalem has not yet replied to the Turkish ultimatum. It is standing fast as yet - barring provocations or shooting from the convoy to gain media attention - by the decision to block the flotilla's entry to a Gazan port. The vessels will be diverted to an Israeli port, if necessary by Israeli naval units boarding them, and the people aboard detained at a special camp thrown up to house them.
link The European campaign to end the siege, a Freedom Flotilla coalition partner, estimated that the ships of the coalition may arrive in the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday.
In a press release on Sunday, the campaign said that the ships are moving according to an arranged plan, adding that three of the ships are carrying 10,000 tons of aid and the others are carrying more than 750 passengers.
This campaign will receive wide media coverage and will be televised worldwide, where the ships were already provided with wireless satellite transmitters and receivers along with more than 36 journalists working for 21 international news agencies aboard.