Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Israel navy intercepts activist boat trying to break Gaza blockade

Israel navy intercepts activist boat trying to break Gaza blockade

The Israeli navy has intercepted a Norwegian-flagged ship with activists on board as it was approaching the shores of the besieged Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian relief to the inhabitants of the impoverished enclave.

"We call on national governments, civil society and worldwide organizations to demand that Israeli authorities immediately release our boat so that we can deliver our much-needed medical supplies on Al Awda and the fishing boat itself to the rightful recipients in Gaza", the Flotilla organizers said.

A video report posted online onSaturday from onboard one of the ships, by Richard Sudan of Iran's Press TV UK, said that one of the smaller vessels had dropped out with an unspecified "problem".

Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh on Monday decried Israel's interception of an aid boat bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip.

"In the long term, the only solution is ending the blockade", it said.


The navy said it informed the passengers that they were "violating the legal naval blockade", and that if they had humanitarian aid to deliver, there were other ways to get it to Gaza.

In a statement, Firas al Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem's Jordan-run Religious Endowments Authority, said at least 60 soldiers had entered the holy site, "where they used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse worshippers after Friday prayers".

Unite's national secretary Gerard Hehir said the boats were in worldwide waters when they were detained and taken to the southern Israeli port of Ashod. Another activist died years later.

Other attempts to run the Israeli blockade included a 2016 women's boat with 13 passengers including Nobel Peace Prize victor Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland.

In September 2010, Turkey suspended its military ties with Israel and expelled the Israeli envoy from Ankara over Tel Aviv's refusal to apologize for the killing.


Other attempts to run the Israeli blockade included a 2016 women's boat with 13 passengers, including Nobel Peace Prize victor Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland.

The IDF carried out a strike on a target in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip in the early hours of Sunday - according to local sources which also claimed two people were killed in the strike.

Palestinians have been protesting every Friday since 30 March as part of the Great March of Return.

The ministry identified the dead as Yassin Tahsin Abu Armana, 14, and Razi Abu Mustafa, 43, both killed by Israeli gunfire.

There have been two severe military flare-ups between the two sides in recent weeks as well.


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