TEHRAN (FNA)- The Israeli navy attacked an international pro-Palestinian activist ship carrying humanitarian supplies in the Mediterranean sea on Saturday to prevent it from reaching Gaza.
The Swedish-owned but Finished-flagged ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists “came under attack” shortly after being approached by Israeli vessels, a spokesperson told AFP on Saturday.
Amjad al-Shawwa, director of the Gaza network of NGOs, told Ma’an that the Estelle was 38 nautical miles from the shores of Gaza City at 9:30 am Saturday.
An Zionist regime military spokeswoman said marines boarded the SV Estelle, a three-mast schooner, and rerouted it to Israel’s Southern port of Ashdod.
The Estelle set sail in June around Europe, and left Naples on Oct 6 heading for Gaza. The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe and Canada, including five parliamentarians and a former Canadian lawmaker, humanitarian cargo such as cement, and goodwill items such as children’s books, wheel chairs, crutches, toys, musical instruments and 300 footballs, a mission spokesman said earlier today.
Shipboard activists could not immediately be reached for comment.
Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouthi said the activists were adamant to continue to sail to Gaza and deliver humanitarian aid despite Zionist threats.
Israeli blockade of Gaza has been imposed since 2007.
Palestinians describe the curbs as collective punishment for Gaza’s 1.6 million residents and their supporters abroad have mounted several attempts to break the blockade by sea. Most were stopped by Israel, and in one May 2010 incident its marines killed nine Turkish activists aboard their ship.