Israel navy intercepts activist boat trying to break Gaza blockade

Scene of the clashes in Jerusalem

The "Freedom Flotilla" group said that the boat had been "seized" and that the ship had received a warning from the navy prior to the interception.

However, the recent developments in Gaza have ensured that Israel has tightened its blockade on the coastal enclave after imposing additional restrictions on the entry of goods, particularly raw and construction materials, which threatens an unprecedented escalation of the humanitarian crisis.

Israeli Ynet news reports that Shapirahas said, "Our goal is to lift the blockade over Gaza".

Almost 20 activists from several countries were arrested by Israeli soldiers who boarded the ship and remained jailed on Tuesday, with two of them launching a hunger strike to protest the Israeli military action against them.

Consortium News reported on July 9 that Joe Meadors, a survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, joined the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla as the delegate from the United States.

The flotilla boat also carried a quantity of urgently needed medical supplies to be gifted to Gaza's over-stretched health services, and the boat itself was intended as a gift to Gaza's fishers.

In fact, the only "necessary measures" would be to end the blockade of Gaza and restore freedom of movement for all Palestinians.

Israeli Navy Forces stopped the ship after they contacted them through loudspeaker and asked for its destination.

The boat will be towed to the Ashdod port in southern Israel. "The operation ended without incidents", said Israeli military.

The two ships have taken about two months to reach the coast of Gaza, after setting sail from Scandinavia and stopping along the way at several port cities in Europe. "So much for freedom and democracy in Israel".

Speaking of the seizure of the Al Awda, the flotilla organizers said: "A military attack on a civilian vessel is a violent act and a violation of worldwide law".

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007 and has witnessed three wars.

Most of the Palestinians killed were members of the Hamas terror group, according to the group itself.

Press TV's correspondent Richard Sudan, who is on board the flotilla, said in a video posted online that one of the vessels had dropped out with an unspecified "problem" and that two boats were now making their way toward Gaza. At the time, Israel's foreign ministry said it had provided the flotilla with permission.

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