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Israeli warships prevent European ship from delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza Strip

Israeli warships prevent European ship from delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza Strip

A pro-Palestinian ship loaded with humanitarian supplies has been seized by Israeli warships to prevent it from docking in the Gaza Strip.

The ship, called the Estelle, was registered in Finland. About 30 activists from a number of countries were on board, including five members of the European Parliament and a former Canadian MP.

The vessel was escorted to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

"Since we have a maritime security blockade according to international law, we had to intercept them in order for them not to break this blockade," said Israeli military spokeswoman Avital Liebovitch. "The interception was done quietly, peacefully. No one was hurt."

It was the latest in a series of vain attempts to deliver supplies to Gaza. Israel says the blockade, imposed in 2006, is to prevent arms reaching Palestinian militants.

Amjad al-Shawa, a Palestinian activist from Gaza, told EuroNews, "We worry a lot about what will happen to those people as they were attacked by five Israeli military boats in international waters."

A spokesman for the Estelle mission said the ship was carrying building materials, toys and educational items.


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