Israeli Navy ships have massed off the coast of Gaza to head off the arrival of a ship that is set to attempt to dock in the Hamas-controlled territory, in violation of the Israeli closure of Gaza’s waters. Similar to the 2010 Gaza flotilla, the ship claims to be carrying humanitarian supplies, including medicine and medical equipment.
The Zeitouna departed Italy several days ago after leaving Spain several weeks ago, together with two other ships. Due to mechanical failure, the other two ships were unable to proceed and returned to their ports in Spain and Italy. The ship is sponsored by a leftist group and is claimed to be staffed by women only.
According to its schedule, the ship is due to run into the IDF’s naval blockade sometime overnight Tuesday or early Wednesday. The IDF has said that it will not allow the ship to dock or proceed past its naval blockade. The ship will instead be directed to the Ashdod port where its cargo can be inspected. If the cargo does not violate regulations on what may be imported into Gaza, it will be packed up and sent into the territory by truck.