Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a statement that the aid ships were an "unnecessary provocation" like other flotillas:
We hold the Lebanese government responsible for preventing the flotilla from departing today, and if it does depart it will be accompanied by Israel's Navy to the Ashdod port. If the ship refuses to be accompanied to Ashdod we will have no choice but to apprehend it in open waters.
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, accused organizers of the aid ships of "seeking to incite a confrontation and raise tensions in our region".
In letters to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, Shalev said, "Israel reserves its right under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the ... naval blockade."
UN Probe on Flotilla Attack: The United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed a team of international experts on Friday to investigate Israel's raid in on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla.
The fact-finding team comprises three independent experts --- Sir Desmond de Silva (Britain), Karl Hudson-Phillips (Trinidad and Tobago,) and Mary Shanthi Dairiam (Malaysia).
An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said that the UN Human Rights Council's made its decision in haste, and that it was "part of the Rights Council's obsession against Israel" . The official added:
The Israeli probe, conducted with transparency, makes the organization's probe completely unnecessary.
Israel Returning Freedom Flotilla Ships to Turkey: Israel has given up asking Ankara for a guarantee against the Freedom Flotilla's craft being used in another attempt to break the siege on Gaza and will send three ships back to Turkey.
Israel Military Puts Flotilla Issues Back to Government: In an interview with Reshet Bet on Friday, Maj.-Gen Giora Eiland, head of the military commission conducting an internal investigation of the attack on the Freedom Flotilla, said that it was possible to prevent the flotilla's mission to Gaza by political means.
Eiland, noting "changing political winds in Turkey", suggested that Israel "could have opened the Gaza crossings in advance, before the Turkish flotilla". However, he said, Israel preferred waiting for international pressure before taking steps.