The next Turkey maritime flotilla may challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza. According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, it is uncertain whether the flotilla will pose a significant threat. The initial reports about the potential flotilla came out on November 20, with predictions of reaching 1,000 small vessels to challenge the Israeli navy.
The flotilla leaders have made progress in moving forward, but their goals and organization seem different from the infamous May 2010 Mavi Marmara incident. The Meir Amit Center report stated that the flotillas are still in the planning stages and are more in the spirit of exhibiting solidarity with the Gaza Strip. It is unclear when they intend to set sail and whether they really plan to reach the shores of Gaza.
The idea appears to increase the cost and aggravation to Israel of maintaining the blockade. If the flotilla does take off, its plans are to first sail to Cyprus to pick up humanitarian goods for Gazans. The flotilla would then try to sail through international waters to Gaza but would be ready to be stopped, inspected, and towed by the Israeli navy to the port at Ashdod.
There are still questions about whether the flotilla will happen or whether it will be smaller than envisioned. Some past attempts at flotillas failed due to international diplomatic pressure and legal pressure from insurance companies. Flotilla organizers challenge the blockade as illegal but are aware that the IDF is likely to seize their vessels based on the claim that blockades do not need to distinguish between the type of goods being transported.