Israel rejects Gaza ship claims as ‘Bond-esque’

Israel rejects Gaza ship claims as 'Bond-esque'
Israeli authorities have rejected claims of the Swedish Ship to Gaza movement that "foreign agents" were behind the damage to their boat, which was reported sabotaged on Monday.

“It sounds like a ‘James Bond-esque’ insinuation, which is pretty funny, but has no bearing on reality,” said Ilana Stein of the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs to news agency TT.

The Swedish Ship to Gaza group reported on Monday that their ship Juliano had been sabotaged while berthed in Piraeus harbour in Greece.

“It is time for the international community to put their foot down and say: It’s enough!” said Swedish spokesperson Mattias Gardell in a statement at the time.

According to Mikael Löfgren, press coordinator of the organisation, the group didn’t know who was behind the attack in which hostile divers destroyed the propeller housing and severed the two propeller axles beneath the boat, but had their suspicions.

He told The Local that the only thing they could be sure of was that the perpetrators would be representing those who don’t want them to succeed in their mission.

And within the Norwegian organisation, who are co-owners of the damaged ship, they were thinking along the same lines.

“All we know is that Israel is doing everything in its power to slow us down,” said Norwegian spokesperson Torstein Dahle to Norwegian daily Dagbladet.

But according to Ilana Stein and Israel, the organisation has no evidence that proves the damage was an act sabotage or who may be behind the deed.

The flotilla is the second attempt by the Freedom Flotilla organisation after a previous journey to Gaza in May 2010 resulted in the intervention of armed Israeli forces, the death of nine activists and prompted extensive international condemnation of Israel.

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