But Israel is determined to stop the ships from reaching Gaza, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry told Swedish Radio News.
Yigal Palmor declined to go into detail regarding Israel’s plan to stop the nine ships, but he did say that violence was an option.
“They will be stopped by force if that is their choice,” he said.
Asked by Swedish Radio News if Israel is ready to fire on the ships, Palmor replied that “we have never threatened anyone with fire or weapons, but they can’t go into the Gaza waters. They will be stopped.”
Israel sees the Ship to Gaza campaign as a provocation embarked upon by activists who act on orders from Hamas.
“We cannot allow Hamas to use this as a propaganda effort,” Palmor told Swedish Radio correspondent Cecilia Uddén in Jerusalem.
Besides Henning Mankell, the ship is carrying the Swedish religious historian Mattias Gardell, parliamentarian Mehmet Kaplan, and the Swedish-Israeli artist Dror Feiler.