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Israel seizes boat from Gaza seeking to break blockade

By AFP - Jul 11,2018 - Last updated at Jul 11,2018

An injured Palestinian (centre) waits on the pier before boarding a blockade-running boat, carrying him with other wounded and students, out from the Gaza City harbour yesterday, to break Israel’s naval blockade on the enclave (AFP photo)

Gaza City, Palestinian Territories — Israel’s navy seized a boat on Tuesday that had left from a Gaza Port with wounded Palestinians aboard in a bid to challenge the blockade of the Hamas-run enclave.

Hundreds of people had gathered to see off the boat carrying nine passengers, including four people said to have been wounded by Israeli occupation forces along with students.

The passengers “with specific needs are prevented from travelling, receiving care and finishing their studies”, said organiser Raed Abu Dair.

“We are determined to break the blockade.”

Mahmud Abu Ataya, 25, who recently suffered a leg wound east of Gaza City, said: “I am leaving to be cared for abroad.”

But the boat was seized by Israel’s navy a short time after setting off.

“After the boat and the Palestinians on board are searched, the boat will be towed to the Israeli navy base in Ashdod,” Israeli occupation force officials said in a statement.

“The [occupation forces] assigned medical personnel to treat Palestinians on board requiring medical assistance.”

A similar attempt was made in May and also resulted in Israeli forces seizing the main protest boat several kilometres out to sea.

Israel’s blockade restricts Gazan boats to up to six nautical miles off the enclave.

Israel and resistance movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, have fought three wars since 2008.

UN officials and rights activists have repeatedly called for Israel to lift the blockade, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

On Monday, Israel also closed its only goods crossing with the Gaza Strip in response to weeks of fires at farms caused by kites and balloons carrying firebombs from the Palestinian enclave.

Gazans began launching the kites as part of protests along the border calling for Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes from which they were forced to flee amid violence surrounding the creation of Israel.

Since protests broke out along the Gaza border on March 30, at least 139 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation force fire and more than 4,000 have been wounded by gunfire.

No Israelis have been killed.

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I cannot understand why there isn't concerted multi-national action against the Zionists. What the Zionists do is evil.

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