The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship on the Mediterranean high seas on Saturday to prevent it breaching Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said.
Some 50 nongovernmental organizations called on Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli navy Friday boarded two boats carrying pro-Palestinian activists toward the Gaza Strip in a fresh challenge to Israel's blockade of the Islamist-controlled territory.
Germany's foreign minister called on Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza and refused to meet with Hamas officials on a visit to the coastal strip.
In the weeks since Israel’s lethally bungled raid on a boatload of protesters trying to bring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the Jewish state has come under tremendous pressure to lift its punishing blockade of the Palestinian enclave. Though they’ve recently announced a partial easing of restrictions on imports, Israel argues it must continue to isolate Gaza to keep Hamas from smuggling in weapons and ultimately drive them out of power. In other words, Palestinian civilians must suffer economic hardship so that Israeli civilians are no longer menaced by rockets.