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Israeli Navy Intercepts Aid Ship Headed for Gaza


Days after Israel's deadly flotilla raid, there has been another confrontation between the Israeli Navy and a humanitarian aid ship off the coast of the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip.

The Israeli navy intercepted another ship carrying a group of pro-Palestinian activists who tried to break the blockade on Gaza. The crew received a radio warning from the Israeli military.

The ship ignored the message and was seized by naval commandos. But this time, no one was hurt.

"We completed compliance boarding on the ship," said army spokeswoman Avital Liebovich. "There was no violence, no resistance whatsoever."

It was a much different outcome than on Monday, when 9 activists were killed during an Israeli raid on a flotilla of six ships carrying humanitarian aid. Israel says it was self-defense. Video shows that Israeli commandos were beaten by activists wielding clubs, and the army displayed dozens of knives confiscated from the ships.

"I'm happy to say that the result today shows us clearly that we are talking about peace activists, human rights activists, unlike the other flotilla which turned out to be a group of terrorists," she said.

Monday's deadly flotilla raid sparked outrage around the world and Turkey condemned Israel for the action and has threatened to cut ties. But Israel has rejected international demands to lift the blockade, saying it cannot allow the Palestinian militant group Hamas that rules Gaza to rearm with rockets and missiles.

The latest ship to arrive was sponsored by an Irish aid group, which described Israel's capture of the vessel as "piracy on the high seas."

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