Ship Full of Protesters Headed for Gaza Intercepted by Israel's Navy

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Israel stopped a flotilla of ships headed past its Gaza blockade today in a confrontation that went much more smoothly than the one that resulted in the death of eight Turkish citizens and one American in May 2010. The flotilla's two ships were Canadian and Irish-owned, Bloomberg's Jonathan Ferziger and Caroline Alexander report: 

The activists on the Canadian ship, the Tahrir, said they were carrying only medical aid, letters and solidarity, and that Israel had no right to board, redirect or intercept their boat, according to the group's Twitter feed. They posted signs on the vessel written in red ink in English and Hebrew, reading "Gaza Blockade is Illegal" and "Attacking an Unarmed Ship is Piracy" ...

Israel maintains a blockade into Gaza saying it could be used by militants to import weapons and insurgents. Today's incident was non-violent but echoes the confrontation between Israeli soldiers and Turkish activists last year. The Los Angeles Times notes:

Israeli officials said the takeover ... occurred without the kind of violent clash seen in May 2010, when nine Turkish activists, including one with dual U.S. citizenship, were shot and killed as they resisted takeover by Israeli commandos.

Below, you can see video of the Israelis using a water cannon before boarding one of the boats in a video posted by the Israeli Defense Forces YouTube account



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