Cyprus Mail

Israel stops Gaza flotilla heading to Cyprus

File photo A boat carrying patients and students sails towards Europe aiming to break Israel's blockade on Gaza, at the sea in Gaza

The Israeli navy stopped a flotilla from Gaza that was heading for Cyprus to highlight the ongoing blockade, Israeli paper Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

The flotilla of activists with 17 Palestinians in small boats set sail from Gaza on Tuesday in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade on the strip but they were stopped six nautical miles out by the Israeli navy, which fired warning shot after they cross the blockade line, Haaretz said. It said no incidents were reported.

It also cites the committee for the lifting of the blockade saying the flotilla was not carrying any equipment or tools that could pose a threat or could be used for violence.

According to the committee, the ship was scheduled to dock in Cyprus in a few days and intended to send a message to the international community about the blockade.

According to the International Middle East Centre, it was a humanitarian mission and the boat that was intercepted was headed to Limassol. The other two boats in the flotilla headed back without breaching the blockade line. It said those on board were mainly students and there were also some cancer patients. It also said the activists would try again to launch another flotilla.

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