Israeli Navy Hijacks 'Freedom Flotilla' Attempting to Break Gaza Blockade

Charlene Craig
July 31, 2018

A boat loaded with aid for residents in the besieged Gaza Strip has been intercepted by Israeli naval forces.

Israel's navy on Sunday (July 29) intercepted a Norwegian-flagged activist boat trying to break its more than decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian official who works in the area said "dozens" of Palestinians had been injured after Israeli forces entered the compound and began attacking worshippers. An hour later, the IDF Spokesman's Unit said in a statement that both flotilla ships had been boarded and were being escorted to Ashdod.

The boat was en route to Gaza with 22 people from 16 nations on board and carrying a cargo of €13,000 ($15,000) worth of medical supplies.

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Another 14-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire in Rafah, authorities said.

The Israeli army said in a statement it had monitored and intercepted the vessel in accordance with global law, and that any humanitarian assistance that the boat was carrying would be delivered to Gaza. The military said the group incites to terror, and that it confiscated incitement materials and warned the families of students who participate in the group.

In 2010, Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish citizens in clashes on the Mavi Marmara, that sailed with five others from Cyprus in an attempt to break the Gaza blockade.

On Board were were activists, sailors and human rights activists, including Professor Ismail Naz, head of the Malaysian campaign for the boycott of Israel, writes "New Time".

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He pointed out that the current figures of poverty and unemployment are the highest in the world, and no one can know where it leads, under the Israeli blockade against 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, which amounts to collective punishment and flagrant violation of worldwide law. "At this time the ship is being transferred to the port of Ashdod" along the coast of central Israel.

Israel says it is crucial to prevent Hamas, a group sworn to Israel's destruction, from arming.

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. Over the last week, an Israeli soldier was killed and another wounded by what the army said were Gaza snipers, and seven Hamas gunmen died in air strikes.

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