- Israel Confirms Seizure of European Vessel Attempting to Break Gaza Blockade
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – Israeli military confirmed on Sunday that they had seized a ship with pro-Palestinian activists sailing from Europe to break the Gaza Strip blockade in the Mediterranean Sea.
Earlier in the day, the Freedom Flotilla activist group said that the al-Awda (“Return”) boat under the Norwegian flag carrying medical supplies had been seized, adding that the ship received a warning from the navy prior to the interception.
“The Israeli Navy intercepted a ship that followed from Europe with the intention of violating a legal naval blockade of the Gaza Strip…. The ship is being transferred to the port of Ashdod,” the Israeli army said in a press release.
The navy explained to the passengers that they were violating the legal naval blockade, and that any humanitarian cargo can be transported to Gaza via the port of Ashdod.
According to the activist group, there are 22 persons on board the al-Awda, including the crew, human rights activists and journalists from 16 countries, as well as a medical supplies worth 13,000 euros ($15,200).