The Israeli navy has ordered a Libyan ship carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to turn back.

Officials say the ship, the Al Marwa, was carrying some 3,000 tons of aid when it was stopped by the Israeli navy.

Israel says there was no physical confrontation when it ordered the ship to turn around.

Palestinian officials say the ship is now sailing to the Egyptian port of El-Arish.

Gaza's borders have been largely sealed by Israel and Egypt following a violent takeover by the militant Hamas last year.

The blockade has been stepped up in recent weeks due to a surge in border clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.