Israel intercepts ship trying to break Gaza blockade

15 Palestinians injued after Israeli police fire stun grenades, tear gas at worshippers at Al-Aqsa

Spokesperson Roger Fowler says the Al Awda, which was carrying medical supplies in an attempt to break Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza, was boarded by Israeli forces in worldwide waters.

According to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, a second boat of the flotilla, the Swedish-flagged Freedom, is expected to arrive in the same area in the next couple of days.

However, the recent developments in Gaza have ensured that Israel has tightened its blockade on the coastal enclave after imposing additional restrictions on the entry of goods, particularly raw and construction materials, which threatens an unprecedented escalation of the humanitarian crisis.

However, the expert said, this situation of repetition of limited confrontations may lead them to a decisive stage that will in the end require either a strong truce deal or a large-scale military action.

An global flotilla seeking to challenge Israel's maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip is nearing its destination although its exact location is unknown, supporters said on Saturday.

He added that 36 solidarity activists from 15 various countries were on board the vessel, which left the Italian city of Palermo on July 21.

An global flotilla seeking to challenge Israel's crippling maritime blockade of the besieged Gaza Strip is nearing its destination, activists said on Sunday.

An activist group affiliated with the boat, the al-Awda (the Return), said 22 people and a cargo of medical supplies were on board.

"In response, an IDF aircraft targeted an observation post in the northern Gaza Strip", the IDF said on Twitter. "The activity ended without any unusual incidents".

Al Jazeera reported that Israeli naval ships had surrounded the flotilla and communications had been cut.

"Freedom Flotilla" organizers said participants on board of the "Freedom Flotilla" received a call from Israeli naval forces prior to the interception inquiring about the number of participants and supplies it carried on board before their boat was surrounded and seized. The Palestinians claim that tens of thousands of original refugees, displaced at the time of Israel's creation in 1948, and their millions of descendants, have a "right of return".

"It is interesting that the two Israeli citizens released on bail have been charged with trying to enter Gaza".

Many attempts have been made to draw attention to the Palestinian cause using blockade-busting flotillas.

Palestinians want to establish a state in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories that Israel took control of in the 1967 Middle East war. At the time, Israel's foreign ministry said it had provided the flotilla with permission.

Since the demonstrations began, the Israeli army has killed at least 157 Palestinian protesters and wounded more than 16,000, according to Gaza's health ministry.

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