Israel has done it again!
The Israeli navy has intercepted a boat carrying female pro-Palestinian activists trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and said it was escorting the vessel to shore. The incident occurred on the same day as the Israeli air force struck a series of targets in Gaza.
The boat was sponsored by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, a group of pro-Palestinian groups based mostly in Europe. The Dutch-registered vessel was carrying 13 activists headed by Mairead Maguire, an Irish Nobel peace prize laureate. A retired US colonel and a former South African Olympic athlete were also on board, along with women from the UK, Sweden, Russia and Malaysia.
Zaher Darwish, one of the flotilla’s coordinators, said the boat had been intercepted about 40 miles (60 kilometres) from Gaza and was not carrying aid. He said the goal was “symbolic” — to call attention to the Israeli naval blockade, which he said was illegal.
“People have the right to move. We have the right to move,” he said. “We are aiming to the conscience of the people. And the conscience of governments. They have to act and express their non-acceptance of this situation.”
The Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum urged international activists to continue sending flotillas to Gaza. “This is Israeli piracy and organised state terrorism reflecting how deep the Israeli entity has gone in its aggression, crimes and violations against our people and those who show solidarity with it,” he said.
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