Archive for June 5th, 2010

Israeli Forces Board Gaza-Bound Aid Vessel

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Anyone who actually believes these “aid” vessels are actually that, is a fool. These vessels have one purpose only; to swing international opinion further against Israel.

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces seized a Gaza-bound aid vessel without meeting resistance on Saturday, preventing it from breaking an Israeli maritime blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory days after a similar effort turned bloody.

The military said its forces boarded the 1,200-ton Rachel Corrie cargo ship from the sea, not helicopters.

The takeover stood in marked contrast to a violent confrontation at sea earlier this week when Israeli commandos blocked a Turkish aid vessel trying to break the blockade. At the time, Israeli commandos rappelled from helicopters and a clash with passengers left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead.

Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich says Saturday’s takeover took only a few minutes and that the vessel was being taken to Israel’s Ashdod port.

The Irish ship — named for an American college student who was crushed to death by a bulldozer in 2003 while protesting Israeli house demolitions in Gaza — was carrying hundreds of tons of aid, including wheelchairs, medical supplies and cement.

The standoff has raised international pressure on Israel to lift the 3-year-old blockade that has plunged the territory’s 1.5 million residents deeper into poverty.

Activists on board the boat, including Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan, had said they wouldn’t resist if Israeli soldiers tried to take over their vessel.

This latest attempt to breach the blockade differs significantly from the flotilla the Israeli troops intercepted on Monday, killing eight Turks and a Turkish-American after being set upon by a group of activists.

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