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Gaza aid ship to test Israeli blockade

Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:07 AM

JERUSALEM, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A Swedish-flagged vessel is headed for Gaza to protest Israel's blockade of the Palestinian territory, Israeli officials say.

Activists on the Estelle are preparing to sail from Italy to Gaza in the next few days, Ynetnews.com reported Tuesday.

The ship began its voyage in June and has stopped in various European ports along the way to raise awareness of its mission, which Ynetnews said is believed to bring equipment for the "Gaza Ark," a project to build a ship to carry Palestinian exports outside Gazan waters.

An international maritime blockade is in effect against goods being delivered to ports in Gaza.

A source within the Israeli Foreign Ministry said only a handful of activists are taking part in the blockade-running attempt. Among the participants is Dror Feiler, an Israeli expatriate who took part in the 2010 Marmara flotilla, which ended in a deadly confrontation with Israeli forces.

"They are more isolated than ever. This 'adventure' has garnered zero interest outside this group," the ministry source said.

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