Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Israel navy intercepts activist boat trying to break Gaza blockade

Israel navy intercepts activist boat trying to break Gaza blockade

The group said the supplies were "a small but important contribution to the increasingly dire medical situation" in Gaza.

Spokesperson Roger Fowler says the Al Awda, which was carrying medical supplies in an attempt to break Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza, was boarded by Israeli forces in global waters.

"There's a Jordanian MP on the other boast, the Awda, and various activists from across Europe", he said, adding that the blockade challenge "is a gesture of solidarity to the Palestinians".

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Al-Awda vessel was sailing on a humanitarian mission to Gaza, Palestine, with 22 activists from around the globe, including a Malaysian, Prof Dr Mohd Afandi Salleh.

United Nations officials and rights activists have called for the blockade to be lifted, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian enclave of two million people run by Hamas.

Adham Abu Salima, a spokesperson for Gaza's National Committee for Breaking the Siege, confirmed the attack by Israeli forces on the Freedom Flotilla ship.

Ms Davidson said past flotilla interceptions had ended in deaths.

The flotilla aimed to break the Israeli regime's blockade on the coastal enclave.

It was only in 2008 when two boats carrying 40 people successfully managed to reach the coast of Gaza.

The activists stressed that they will resist Israel's expected takeover of the boats in non-violent ways, reports said.

Since March, more than 150 Palestinians have been martyred by Israeli army gunfire during protests against the decades-long Israeli occupation and an 11-year blockade, which has gutted the Gaza economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Assisted by Egypt, Israel says the move is necessary to prevent Hamas from arming.

Several global flotillas tried to break the blockade but were stopped by the Israeli navy.

In September 2010, Turkey suspended its military ties with Israel and expelled the Israeli envoy from Ankara over Tel Aviv's refusal to apologize for the killing.

The IDF carried out a strike on a target in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip in the early hours of Sunday - according to local sources which also claimed two people were killed in the strike.

At least 157 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since then.

It has several times called at the Harbor, located on the transportation route, and also took part in events in support of the so-called "March of return" of Palestinians.

One Israeli soldier has been killed in the same time period.

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