Navy sends Gaza-bound activist ship back to Cyprus

December 30, 2008 09:00

The Navy has turned back a boat trying to carry pro-Palestinian protesters to the Gaza Strip, officials said Tuesday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the boat ignored an Israeli radio order to turn back early Tuesday. He said the boat tried to outmaneuver the navy ship and crashed into it, lightly damaging both vessels. The navy then escorted the boat to the territorial waters of Cyprus. Protest boat organizer Derek Graham said the Israeli ship "rammed" the protest boat. Protesters have sailed several small boats into Gaza from Cyprus since August in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade aimed at pressuring Gaza's Hamas rulers to halt terrorist rocket fire on Israel.

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