The Israeli navy has intercepted a boat carrying eight Palestinian activists who were sailing from Gaza to Cyprus in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade, it was reported on Wednesday.
Citing Palestinian reports, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said navy vessels surrounded the boat some six miles from the coast.
The boat was carrying eight activists who had been injured at the Gaza border fence in recent weeks, Haaretz said.
The Israeli military (IDF) said they had stopped the vessel without incident and proceeded to tow it to the naval base at Ashdod where medical personnel treated the injured.
“This is the second time in the last two months that the terror organisation Hamas has initiated an attempt at provocation at sea, taking advantage of injured and handicapped people and paying residents of Gaza to take part in this type of activity,” an IDF statement was quoted as saying.
“The naval blockade is a necessary and legal security blockade, which has been recognised repeatedly by the world and the United Nations, for the protection of the State of Israel and its marine borders, protecting [it] against terror and arms smuggling.”