Israel Navy prepares to confront more ships

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Tel Aviv, June 3 (ANI): The Israel Navy will likely choose the same unit - Flotilla (Shayetet) 13 - to lead a commandeering operation of the ships expected to try to break the sea blockade of Gaza later this week, the Jerusalem Post quoted defense officials, as saying on Wednesday.

"No other unit has the capabilities that the shayetet has in boarding and commandeering ships in the middle of the ocean.They are the best unit for the operation," one defense official said.

The navy has been tracking the two new ships - one carrying cargo and the other about three dozen passengers - as they make their approach to Israel from near Libya.

Navy assessments are that the ships will reach Israeli waters toward the end of the week.

One of the ships, a private Irish 1,200-ton freighter, is named for Rachel Corrie, an American college student crushed to death in 2003 by an IDF bulldozer while protesting house demolitions in the Gaza Strip. It is carrying wheelchairs, medical supplies and concrete.

The ship was supposed to join the aid flotilla that the navy stopped early Monday, but it was delayed by mechanical problems. On Wednesday it was still several hundred kilometers west of Gaza along the Libyan coast.

Navy sources said that the commandos would be better prepared to handle potential violent resistance when boarding the two ships.

"If needed, we will be more aggressive when boarding," one source said.(ANI)

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