Skip To Content
Breaking News

Israel Intercepts Boat Carrying 13 Women Aiming To Break Gaza Blockade

JERUSALEM — The Israel Defense Forces reportedly intercepted a boat attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza, with 13 female passengers, was intercepted Wednesday afternoon less than 50 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, according to reports based on social media. Organizers had lost contact with the boat during the interception, according to reports. The boat was redirected to the Ashdod port in southern Israel.

“The visit and search of the vessel was uneventful,” the IDF said in a statement. “In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel numerous times to change course prior to the action. Following their refusal the Navy visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent their intended breach of the lawful maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

Pre-recorded SOS messages calling on the public to ask their governments to intervene were released after the interception.

SOS messages from #WomenToGaza
Pls contact your Govt to demand their release and an end to the illegal blockade!

— Women’s Boat To Gaza (@GazaFFlotilla) October 5, 2016

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is part of the International Freedom Flotilla Coalition. The boat, the Zaytouna-Olivia sailing under a Dutch flag, and a second boat had left from Barcelona for Gaza last month. The second boat had returned to Barcelona with technical trouble that some blamed on sabotage.

Gazans had gathered on the beach with signs and balloons to greet the boat.

Gazans awaiting #FreedomFlotilla #LetFFlotillaSail #BDS

— Kenneth_Palestine✞✊ (@K_M_C_90) October 5, 2016

In May 2010, Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish citizens in clashes on the Mavi Marmara boat that was part of a flotilla attempting to break the Gaza blockade. Several flotillas and individual boats attempting to break the blockade since then have been nonviolently redirected to Ashdod, where their cargoes were taken overland by truck to Gaza.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.