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IDF Navy Intercepts, Boards French Flotilla Yacht

The Israeli boarding came "after all diplomatic channels had been exhausted"
By: News Staff
Published: July 19th, 2011 in News » Israel

On Tuesday, July 18, IDF soldiers boarded a French yacht heading to the Gaza Strip, in order to ensure it did not break Gaza’s maritime security blockade.

The yacht – the MV Dignite/Al Karama – was intercepted by Israel before being towed to shore in what is being described as an “uneventful takeover”.

The Israeli boarding of the vessel by IDF navy soldiers came after "after all diplomatic channels had been exhausted and continuous calls to the vessel had been ignored,"  according to a military statement. The yacht’s16 passengers were offered food, drink and medical exams.

Prior to intercepting the yacht, four Israeli military boats flanked the vessel and warned its crew not to attempt to breach the sea blockade off Gaza.

The yacht left the Greek island of Kastellorizo on Saturday evening after Athens imposed a ban on the departure of any ships involved in the flotilla. Early on Tuesday, activists on board tweeted via @BateauGazaFr that they were still determined to reach Gaza.

Israel insists the Gaza blockade is both legal and vital in ensuring that the terrorist organization, Hamas, does not gain access to incoming funds and/or weapons that would be used to attack Israel.

 

 

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