Palestinian boats carrying people wounded in recent demonstrations in the Gaza Strip have been intercepted by Israeli naval vessels during a desperate effort to break the blockade of the coastal territory.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Israeli forces stopped and seized control of a Palestinian boat seeking to break the naval limits in a show of protest against the regime’s crippling siege of the Gaza Strip.
The boat was one of two vessels carrying a group of approximately 30 people, including Palestinian protesters wounded in weeks-long demonstrations along the fence that separates Gaza from the Israeli-occupied territories.
Israeli forces intervened and arrested the passengers from the boat running the blockade and escorted the vessel 12 miles away from the Gaza coast. It was not immediately clear what happened to the second boat.
The boat was stopped by Israeli forces several kilometers out at sea, Salah Abd al-Ati, one of the organizers, told AFP.
Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinians had gathered at the Gaza City harbor as boats were setting to sail to break the 11-year siege, which has prevented medical supplies from getting into the territory and patients from leaving.
In a press conference held at the Gaza City port, Abd al-Ati said the trip complies with all human rights regulations that ensure the right to travel and transportation.
“Gaza has become the largest isolated prison in the world and it does not receive its minimal rights because of Israel's blockade,” he added.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
The Israeli regime denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.
The journey marks the anniversary of the May 2010 attack by Israeli commandos on an aid flotilla led by the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. Nine people, eight of them Turks, were killed in the attack.
The development follows the six-week rallies at the Gaza fence, during which Israeli forces killed over 110 Palestinian protesters and injured thousands more.