Israeli police stop Gaza-bound ship


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Police prevented a boat from leaving an Israeli port and sailing to the Gaza Strip.

The boat, set to be filled with 100 protesters — including all of the Israeli-Arab members of Knesset — as well as humanitarian aid and presents for an upcoming Muslim holiday, was scheduled to leave Jaffa port and attempt to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.

Police reportedly seized the ship Sunday and told the boat’s owner that sailing the boat to Gaza would be a violation of Israeli law. The owner told the Israeli news site Ynet that he was not aware that the Arab activists would be sailing his vessel to Gaza. The activists announced last week that they would attempt to sail for Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told authorities in Qatar that she would consider allowing a ship carrying humanitarian aid to dock in Israel’s Ashdod port on the way to Gaza, Ynet reported Sunday. But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Qataris they would not be allowed to use the Israeli port or ship supplies to Gaza, Ynet reported.

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