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Zionist Israeli navy intercepts boat en route to Gaza

5 October 2016 20:47



Israeli navy has intercepted a boat transporting female international activists to the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Israeli forces took control of Zaytouna (Olive) solidarity boat before arriving in Gaza, al-Aqsa satellite television quoted Israeli media as saying.

Zaher Birawi, the head of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza, earlier said the American campaign of solidarity with Gaza had urged the US embassy in Tel Aviv to exert pressure on Israel to stop any attack on the vessel.

The embassy, however, said they had information that the Israeli forces would intercept the ship and force the activists to head to Ashdod port if they refused, Birawi added.

Zaytouna set off from the Spanish port of Barcelona to take humanitarian aid to Gaza in mid-September under the banner, “The Women’s Boat to Gaza.”

The “Women’s Boat,” which is part of the larger Freedom Flotilla Coalition, announced the initiative last November.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition initially included another solidarity boat named Amal (Hope) that would not take part in the solidarity mission after facing “unforeseen circumstances” that were out of the control of the organizers, the committee said.

Gaza, with a population of more than 1.8 million, has been under siege by the Israeli regime since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

Palestinian children play in an impoverished area in Khan Yunis, the southern Gaza Strip, on October 4, 2016. (Photo by AFP)


In 2015, when the “Women’s Boat” attempted to deliver humanitarian aid to the coastal enclave, the Israeli regime’s naval forces boarded the vessel and forced it to change route.

A similar attempt by a Turkish flotilla resulted in the death of 10 activists in 2010, when Israeli commandos attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea. They also injured about 50 other activists.

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