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Activists: Israeli warships block 'Free Gaza' protest boat

January 15, 2009 11:37

Activists say Israeli warships forced a boat trying to deliver donated food and medical supplies to Gaza to return to Cyprus. Free Gaza group spokeswoman Mary Hughes-Thompson said Israeli naval vessels surrounded the 66-foot (20-meter) Spirit of Humanity early Thursday off southern Lebanon and threatened to open fire if the boat did not turn back. Hughes-Thompson said the boat loaded with 5 tons of supplies and 21 passengers including 3 surgeons is expected to arrive at Larnaca port Thursday evening. It is the second failed bid by the US-based group to try to reach Gaza since Israel launched its assault on the Palestinian territory late last month in response to rocket fire on Israel.

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