Israeli navy intercepts third Gaza-bound aid flotilla, flagship Marianne in international waters

EMRE BAŞARAN @ebasaran49
Published 29.06.2015 05:17
Updated 29.06.2015 12:20
Israeli navy intercepts third Gaza-bound aid flotilla, flagship Marianne in international waters

Marianne of Gothenburg, a humanitarian aid vessel headed to Gaza Strip from Sweden was approached by three Israeli military boats early on Monday in international waters and afterwards intercepted by the Israeli military, according to the official statement by the Ship to Gaza initiative.

When the contact with the vessel was lost because of the jammer-equipped Israeli boats, the foundation published a press release about the situation aboard.

"At 00.57 (GTM+2) we had our last contact with Ship to Gaza's trawler Marianne of Gothenburg. We were informed that the three military vessels who identified themselves as Israeli navy, has now moved even closer. The distance was estimated to 500 meters. The position was located to 31° 43' North, 32° 33' East, about 105 nautical miles from the destination Gaza city," the press release read.

Marianne was in international waters when it was approached by the Israeli navy boats.

After a while, it was confirmed by the initiative that the vessel was intercepted by Israeli military and was being escorted to Ashdod port.

The vessel that sailed off from the port of Gothenburg was carrying humanitarian aid and solar panels as the strip lacks electricity and is blockaded by Israel.

After the military interception, the initiative posted a series of pre-recorded videos on YouTube which features the appeals for help of the activists aboard.

In 2010, Israel conducted an illegal military operation in international waters against a Turkish humanitarian aid vessel named "Mavi Marmara" in which its military killed nine activists aboard.

Mavi MarmaraThe flotilla, sent by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH), was carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials.

The blockade of the Gaza Strip is illegal under international law, but Israel still insists that it has the right to blockade the strip "to prevent terror."

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