July 19, 2011
Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla ship [VIDEO]
Israel’s Navy intercepted a French ship heading for Gaza, the only member of the pro-Palestinian flotilla to make it to the blockaded waters.
The French-flagged Dignity al-Karama was boarded by Israeli Naval commandoes on Tuesday afternoon, five hours after the Navy first contacted the yacht 50 miles away from the Gaza shore and was told that the yacht’s destination was Gaza. The ship was towed to Israel’s Ashdod port.
The Navy contacted the ship and asked the passengers to state their final destination and if they were carrying weapons. A passenger stated that the final destination was “Gaza port.” He also said the passengers were not carrying weapons.
Story continues after the jump.
Videos courtesy of Jposttv.
The ship reportedly had declared a port in Egypt as its final destination, in order to be able to leave Greek waters. It then changed its destination.
At least seven other flotilla ships were detained and remain in Greek ports for safety violations.
The Dignity is carrying about 10 French and Greek activists, as well as three journalists and some crew members.
After boarding the ship, Israeli troops checked the condition of the passengers and offered them food and drink, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
The passengers were to be turned over to officials from the Israel Police, the Immigration and Population Authority and the Interior Ministry. They reportedly will be charged with entering Israel illegally and could be deported, which would also prohibit them from entering Israel for the next ten years.