Ruth Zakh: Ships' intent was to cause a violent confrontation with Israeli naval forces
ISRAEL regrets the loss of life -- but it did everything it could to avoid this outcome. We repeatedly called upon the organisers, through diplomatic channels and all other available means, to stop this provocation.
Most of the six ships were indeed peacefully escorted to safe waters and no harm was caused to them. The intentions of those in control of the Mavi Marmara were clear -- they wanted to cause a violent confrontation with Israeli forces.
Their intent to use violence against Israeli Naval personnel was made clear in television interviews on Sunday given by the head of the IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi -- 'humanitarian relief fund'), Bulent Yildirim, on board the Mavi Marmara. But Israel still believed the organisers, who assured it that no violence would be used.