The flotilla heading toward Gaza will cost the Israeli economy tens of millions of shekels, a top Ministry of Defense official said today.
According to current figures, just the cost of the detention facility at the Ashdod Port waiting for the 700 pro-Palestinian activists costs the defense establishment NIS 3 million. The facility includes tents, a water system, chemical toilets, a dining room, air conditioning, X-ray machines, catering services, a Ministry of Interior post, medical clinic, and VIP room for foreign MPs among the activists.
"The defense establishment believes that the activists will attempt to drag out the protest for as long as possible, which will only increase the costs. The facility is small change," said the official.
If the activists insist on remaining detained in Israel, the defense establishment will have to find sleeping and feeding arrangements, which will not be cheap, given the large number of activists involved. Activists who wish to leave Israel will be taken to Ben Gurion Airport and put on planes back home, a cost that the state budget will also have to bear.
If the Navy takes over ships, it will take responsibility for them as well, including docking fees. Other costs include the transfer of the supplies to Gaza, as the government has decided that they will be delivered in any case.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 30, 2010
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