Israel seizes Swedish activist ship en route to Gaza

07 August, 2018, 17:21 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Yonatan Shapira

A Palestinian teen died of his wounds Saturday a day after he was shot by Israeli troops during clashes on the Gaza border, the territory's Hamas-run health ministry said.

Hamas' spokesman Abdullatif al-Qanu stressed that the group's decision to join the "right to return" march showed the Hamas' alignment with Palestinian people.

No details have been released about the length of the delegation's visit to the Strip. The ministry says that 159 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the "March of Return" protests on March 30.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

It was the latest in a series of protests along Gaza's perimeter fence with Israel, aimed in part at trying to break an 11-year-old border blockade.

Palestinians have also flown balloons and kites carrying incendiary devices across the border, starting hundreds of fires inside Israel.

"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) clarified to the ship's passengers that they are violating the legal naval blockade and that any humanitarian merchandise can be transferred to Gaza through the (Israeli) Port of Ashdod", an Israeli military statement said.

What Happened: Israel and militant group Hamas are allegedly working on a deal to ensure that peace between the two sides holds, Haaretz reported August 3.

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With borders to both Egypt and Israel largely sealed in recent years, Gaza suffers from desperately high rates of poverty and unemployment.

On Friday Ezzat al-Rishaq, a member of the Hamas political office, told protesters along the border they were "committed to calm".

The coalition said Friday that the Swedish-flagged vessel, Freedom, was almost 60 miles (95 kilometers) off the coast.

The 'Freedom, ' a boat headed to the Gaza Strip in a flotilla defying Israel's blockade.

The boat and another vessel, which was intercepted by Israeli forces on Sunday, set sail to Gaza from Europe last week.

Hamas officials had no immediate comment on the ship's seizure.

During the protests, an Israeli army tank fired a shell at a Hamas military lookout post east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip in response to the fire and the bomb targeting Israeli soldiers from Gaza.

Similar attempts by activists to challenge the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza have been foiled before.

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