Israel intercepts Jewish boat headed for Gaza

(JTA) — Israeli commandos peacefully intercepted a boat carrying Jewish activists who hoped to breach Israel’s embargo of the Gaza Strip. 

Israeli Navy boats blocked the Irene, which was carrying 10 passengers and crew, at about midday Tuesday and diverted the boat to Israel’s Ashdod seaport.

The boat is carrying a cargo of toys and medical equipment for distribution inside Gaza. The inventory is intended for delivery to the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

Israel has blockaded Gaza because it is under the control of a terrorist group, Hamas.

Israel eased the blockade under international pressure following a deadly May 31 raid on a Turkish-flagged aid ship in a flotilla. Eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed in the violence.

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