The boat, carrying aid and €13,000 worth of medical supplies, was expected to reach Gaza Sunday evening but, according to activists, the Israel Navy intercepted Al Awda (“The Return”) less than 60 nautical miles from the blockaded coastal enclave.The former fishing boat was sailing under a Norwegian flag and took off from Italy with 22 activists on board, including Israeli activist Yonatan Shapira, who is on his fourth attempt to break the blockade from the sea.Other activists came from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, UK and the United States.
#FreedomFlotilla boat carrying medical supplies for #Gaza hijacked by Israeli forces. Please contact your governments & demand #FreePassage #FreedomOfMovement for #AlAwda with her cargo of solidarity & hope for a Just Future for #Palestinehttps://t.co/Dv7lDa2nSZ #CountdowntoGaza pic.twitter.com/HlHhnKO7jy— Freedom Flotilla (@GazaFFlotilla) July 29, 2018
Israel's Navy intercepts flotilla boat heading towards Gaza
The 'Al-Awda' boat was carrying dozens of international activists and two Israeli citizens.
A Related Video You May Like:Shapira was quoted by the Ynet news site as saying, “Our goal is to lift the blockade over Gaza. When a civilian group is fighting against a bigger body like a state, it has to develop creative ideas to succeed, and I’d be happy to hear such ideas from people.”Another Israeli activist on board the ship was quoted by Ynet as saying the weekly “March of Return” demonstrations along the Gaza border gave the activists “motivation” to join the flotilla.“There are people in the flotilla’s coalition with ties to the campaign in Gaza, but this flotilla was planned before that and with no connections to the campaign,” Zohar Regev told the news site.Following Al Awda was a Swedish- flagged yacht called Freedom Italy, with 36 activists from 15 different countries, said Zaher Birawi, head of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza.Birawi, who is based in London, also heads the “International Coordination Committee for the Great Return March.” He was designated by Israel’s Justice Ministry in 2013 as being a member of a terrorist organization, the Hamas Headquarters in Europe. The two ships have taken about two months to reach the coast of Gaza, after setting sail from Scandinavia and stopping along the way at several port cities in Europe.They are part of the wider Freedom Flotilla, which consists of several boats with pro-Palestinian activists aboard who regularly attempt to break the blockade.Most boats have been stopped by the Israel Navy several dozen miles away from Gaza’s coast and then towed to Ashdod Port, where activists are detained, questioned and then deported from Israel.