Middle East

Activist: Pro-Palestinian boat en route to Gaza

Israeli naval boats escort the "Dignite-Al-Karama" yacht (C) into the port of Ashdod July 19, 2011. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

JERUSALEM: An activist says a boat of pro-Palestinian advocates from eight countries is en route to Gaza in the latest attempt to break Israel's naval blockade.

Dror Feiler, an Israeli activist on board, says the boat left Naples on Sunday and aims to reach Gaza in mid-October. He said Monday the boat is carrying items such as cement, basketballs, musical instruments and theater lighting equipment.

Israel imposed the blockade after Hamas militants seized control of Gaza in 2007.

It eased the closure in 2010 after a naval raid killed nine Turkish activists on board another Gaza-bound flotilla. Some restrictions, including the naval blockade, remain in place. Israel says the closure is needed to keep Hamas from obtaining weapons.

Israel has not said whether it will try to stop the boat.





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