French flotilla boat leaving Crete 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
The navy is preparing to stop a French ship that set sail from Greece earlier
this week and might be heading to the Gaza Strip even though it declared
Alexandria, Egypt, as its destination, a defense official said on
Israeli-Swedish passenger Dror Feiler said that the yacht would
reach Gaza, if not stopped, by Tuesday afternoon.
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17 pro-Palestinian activists. It was part of the Free Gaza Movement’s flotilla
that was canceled earlier this month after Greece refused to allow the ships to
leave its ports for the Gaza Strip.
On Sunday, the ship left Greek waters
after declaring Alexandria as its destination. According to Free Gaza,
its passengers include Jacqueline Le Corre, a member of the French Communist
Party, Jean-Claude Lefort, a former French Member of the European Parliament,
correspondent Amira Hass.
While the organizers did not
explicitly declare that the ship would sail to Gaza, they said that it was part
of the “first wave that will be followed by others.”
“It is a message to
the Israeli government, to the international community and to the besieged
people of Gaza: The Free Gaza Movement and the coalition of Freedom Flotilla II
are not giving up until the inhumane and illegitimate blockade of Gaza is
lifted,” the movement said in a press release.
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Deputy Foreign Minister
Danny Ayalon said that Israel would stop the vessel.
“If this boat is on
its way to Gaza, which is a breach of international maritime law...we
will intercept it,” he said. “But I assure you that we will try our best
to make all those on board very comfortable.”
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