Israel monitoring boats heading for Gaza

Nov. 3, 2011 at 7:51 AM
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JERUSALEM, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Israel Thursday monitored two boats that left Turkey Wednesday and headed for Gaza to break the Israeli-imposed blockade, officials said.

Israeli security officials told Channel 1 television the boats likely would reach Gaza waters by Friday but Israel will not permit them to reach port, instead offering activists the option of docking and offloading at Ashdod or an Egyptian port from where goods would be transferred overland to Gaza.

The Canadian ship Tahrir and the Irish ship Saorise entered international waters in the Mediterranean Sea Wednesday, said Ustogaza, the Web site of the pro-Palestinian organization in charge of the mission.

The two ships carrying about 27 activists from Canada, Ireland, the United States, Australia and the Palestinian Authority did not notify Turkish authorities of their real destination, fearing they would be prevented from sailing, Channel 1 reported.

Ustogaza said the "Freedom Wave to Gaza" organizers' aim is to "lift the siege in Gaza, which deprives 1.6 million civilians of their right to travel, work, study, develop their economy and be free."

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