Published: 2018-08-04 14:29
Last Updated: 2018-08-04 16:54
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) seized the “Freedom for Gaza” aid ship earlier today as it was attempting to break the Gaza's naval blockade. The Gaza-bound vessel was forced to steer towards the Israeli-occupied territory coastline, specifically to port Ashdod naval base, on Saturday, August 4, 2018.
According to International Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC), twelve activists of five nationalities were sailing on board the Swedish flotilla carrying medical and relief supplies.
We lost contact with the ship when the signal disappeared about 40 nautical miles from the Gazan shore, FFC added.
Israeli military announced that the European vessel was seized by Israel Navy and that its passengers were taken for "further inquiry."
The Israeli 12 year-old enforced Gaza Strip blockade has resulted in a crippling economic and humanitarian crisis. Israel’s maritime blockade excludes fishermen in Gaza who are restricted to sail up to three nautical miles, a distance that is not sufficient to proper fishing.
Previous FFC attempts to penetrate the Gazan siege have not been succeessfull. Recently, the Israel Navy intercepted “Al Awda” Norwegian-flagged boat – which was carrying 13,000 euros’ worth of medical supplies— after it disobeyed commands to stop moving in the direction of Gaza.