This time there was no bloodshed.
But for Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire and others on board the Rachel Corrie, it was not the way they had wanted their Gaza aid mission to end.
Intercepted by the Israeli navy and taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod, activists put up no resistance. Hence the peaceful outcome, says Israel.
“It was clear,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev, “the difference between non-violent protesters whose right to peaceful protest we respect and between last week’s hard-core radical Islamists who chose the path of violence.”
Providing its own footage of the operation, Israel
says the Irish-owned vessel was boarded in the Mediterranean “with the full compliance of the crew and without incident.”
Those behind the shipment have a different take on events.
“Boarding the boat in the international waters is violence. We are a civilian ship. We were carriyng supplies to Gaza. The act of just boarding that boat is violent,” said Greta Berlin, co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement.
“What Israel needs to understand is that nothing is accomplished with force, nothing is. “
The Rachel Corrie activists are being sent home from Israel, which insists the aid will be delivered to Gaza, after being inspected for items that are banned.