Israel Intercepts Lebanese Ship Bound for Gaza


The Israeli Navy halted a Lebanese ship intended to break the Jewish State’s sovereignty over Gaza’s coastal waters, a condition it implemented as part of the withdrawal from Gaza more than three years ago. The ship had docked in Cyprus, where local authorities said they inspected it to determine to make sure its 60 tons of medicine, food, toys and books did not include weapons destined for Hamas. Two Israeli helicopters were reported in the area at the time of the interception, approximately 20 miles from the Gaza coast.

Among those on board were a reporter for the Arabic-language Al Jazeera network, human rights activists and former Greek Catholic archbishop of Jerusalem, Monsignor Hilarion Capuccci.

Israel previously had warned that the ship would be breaking international law by trying to reach Gaza, where pro-Arab activists have landed four times since last August despite Israeli threats to stop them. The government reversed its policy and ordered the Navy to stop more activists’ ships from reaching Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

The Navy stopped the ship, named The Brotherhood; activists said that the Navy fired on the boat, but the IDF has not commented on the report.

The boat was forced to sail to the Lebanese port of Tyre.

{Arutz Sheva/ Newscenter}