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Israeli navy seizes European Gaza aid ship

Israeli navy seizes European Gaza aid ship
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A pro-Palestinian ship loaded with humanitarian supplies has been seized by Israeli warships to prevent it docking in the Gaza Strip.

The Estelle, registered in Finland, had on board around 30 activists from various countries including five members of the European Parliament and a former Canadian MP.

The vessel was escorted to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Israeli military spokeswoman Avital Liebovitch said: “Since we have a maritime security blockade according to international law, we had to intercept them in order for them not to break this blockade. The interception was done quietly, peacefully. No one was hurt.”

It was the latest in a series of vain attempts to deliver supplies to Gaza.

Amjad al-Shawa, a Palestinian activist from Gaza said: “We worry a lot about what will happen to those people as they were attacked by five Israeli military boats in international waters.”

Israel says the blockade, imposed in 2006, is to prevent arms reaching Palestinian militants.

The Estelle put into several European ports en route to its destination. A spokesman for the mission said the ship was carrying building materials, toys and educational items.