Five planes flew out of Israel Wednesday night, June 2, carrying hundreds of foreign passengers and nine bodies from the Turkish-led flotilla Israeli commandos raided and prevented from breaking the Gaza blockade two days ago. After surrendering to Turkey's ultimatum to release all the passengers, including the seven members of Islamist terrorist groups who assaulted the Israeli boarding party, debkafile reports the Netanyahu government faced a fresh ultimatum from Ankara: Lift the Gaza blockade at once.
In his televised message to the nation Wednesday night , Netanyahu pledged "to continue to uphold our right to self-defense against terror," but gave no specific undertaking to preserve the blockade.
Our counter-terror sources confirm that for the first time ever, the government in Jerusalem flouted legal and judicial opinion and sent out of Israel's jurisdiction a pack of terrorists who were filmed attacking Israeli soldiers without trial, together with the bodies of unidentified assailants without giving the investigating authorities a chance to carry out autopsies and find out if they were wanted for security offensives.
After Israel gave way on this, the Erdogan government upped the pressure with further ultimatums.
After declaring it was vital to prevent hundreds of Iranian ships reaching Gaza with thousands of heavy ballistic missiles for Hamas, Netanyahu faced a fresh Turkish demand to lift the blockade on Gaza without delay.
Furthermore, the Irish vessel Rachel Corrie, which was left out of the flotilla after it developed technical trouble, was discovered to have changed course from a direct route to Gaza and headed for a stopover at a Turkish port. debkafile's counter-terror sources disclose suspicions in the Israeli government and naval command that the Irish ship would take aboard a new batch of trained Turkish IHH terrorists and head for the Gaza Strip. They might even be the same IHH activists who attacked Israeli commandos on the Marmara and were deported Wednesday.
Erdogan has resolved that this group which he personally sponsored will reach Gaza Port by hook or by crook. It is also feared in Jerusalem that he may attach an escort of Turkish warships and air force jets to accompany the Rachel Corrie and make sure the ship breaks through the blockade to its destination.
The Irish ship was first scheduled to anchor Saturday, June 5, but its detour to Turkey will delay its arrival by a couple of days.