(Communicated by the Defense Ministry Spokesman)
In the wake of a decision by the political leadership and pursuant to a request by the Turkish authorities, the Defense Ministry will today (Thursday), 5 August 2010, hand over, to Turkish representatives, the Turkish vessels that tried to violate the naval blockade on the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, and which are now anchored in Israel.
Three Turkish towing ships will arrive in Israel today. Their crews will receive three vessels anchored in Israel along with the personal equipment that was aboard them.
The Foreign Ministry has sent a message to the Turkish authorities in which it expresses Israel's expectation that Turkey will prevent other Turkish vessels from violating the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip. The message emphasizes that Israel transfers equipment and goods to Gaza on an ongoing basis via the land crossings in a manner that is acceptable to the international community and which is anchored in recognized agreements.