Israeli navy stops activist boat from breaking Gaza blockade

Tel Aviv (dpa) - The Israeli naval forces intercepted a protest boat on its way from Europe to the Gaza Strip that was attempting to break Israel's blockade on Gaza's coastal zones, the army said Saturday.

On board the boat Freedom, which was sailing under a Swedish flag, were 12 activists and medical supplies, according to the organizers.
The naval forces brought the vessel into the Israeli port of Ashdod and questioned those on board, according to the army. 
Last week, the navy intercepted another ship from the so-called Freedom Flotilla. Both ships were on their way to the Gaza Strip as part of an "international campaign to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Palestinians in Gaza," according to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition's Twitter profile.
Israel has restricted access to the waters off the coast of Gaza for more than 10 years, assisted by Egypt.
Israeli says it is a necessary security measure, because radical Islamist Hamas control Gaza. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union, and has vowed to totally destroy Israel.
Activists have repeatedly tried to break the Israeli restrictions on Gaza. In 2010, Israeli soldiers stormed a Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara. Ten Turkish citizens lost their lives in the incident.

Saturday, August 4th 2018

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