The Israeli navy intercepted a vessel bound for Gaza carrying pro-Palestinian activists on Wednesday evening. There was no resistance and the boat was escorted to Ashdod port.
The Dutch-flagged boat Zaytouna, sent by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, had 13 female activists from different countries headed by Mairead Maguire, an Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Israeli authorities had warned the vessel beforehand that it would not permit a breach of the blockade of the Hamas stronghold of Gaza, which is maintained for security purposes.
In response to claims that the activists wanted to break the “siege” on Gaza, a security source said “there is no siege on Gaza. Israel sends between 800 and 1000 trucks with goods every day. Anyone can send goods to the Gaza Strip on the condition that they pass a regulated check; therefore, claims of a siege are baseless from the beginning.”
The source added that “media ‘shows’ like this will not help the Gaza Strip to recover.”