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Israel's navy trains for second major Gaza flotilla

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The Israeli government asked that the Israeli navy be prepared well in advance this time. The Jerusalem Post reports that the navy has been training with the air force, with a close eye on lessons from last year's operation. A senior naval officer told the Post that Israel had prepared several "surprises" for the flotilla ships and that they would use force to "neutralize" the ships and attacks if necessary.

Haaretz reports that Israel has mobilized reserve forces in expectation of a large number of vessels and the need for reinforcements. It has also held "takeover drills" and upped its intelligence-gathering efforts on the flotilla.

The focus has been on riot control measures in hopes of avoiding the need to use force – an option Israel hasn't ruled out, although it says it will be the last resort. "Israeli defense sources said recently that despite addressing flaws in the previous flotilla takeover, there is no alternative to taking over the boats and protesters by force - barring an agreement that would cancel the flotilla," according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu warned Israel not to "repeat the same mistake" – use force against the flotilla – this year when the next flotilla sets sail, according to Turkish newspaper The Hurriyet Daily News.

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