has warned that it will take action against a boat
carrying international pro-Palestinian activists if it tries to break a naval blockade of Gaza.
Finnish Foreign Ministry spokesman Risto Piipponen said Saturday that Israel had sent a message to the ministry earlier this week but that it didn't say what it would do against the Finnish-flagged Estelle.
"Israel said that it would take action to stop the ship from reaching land if it tries to break the blockade," Piipponen said. "We pointed out that it is a civilian vessel and urged them to practice restraint in any action they take."
The Swedish-owned sailing boat left Naples, Italy, on Oct. 7 with about 20 people from eight countries on board, carrying items including cement, basketballs, musical instruments and theater lighting equipment.
The Israeli military has not said whether it plans to stop the boat, only that it will "continue to ensure that the maritime restrictions near the Gaza Strip, instituted to prevent weapons transfers, are maintained."
On the Estelle's
website, pro-Palestinian activists cite Israeli media as reporting that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has been in touch with the governments of several countries that have passengers on board the Estelle. "It makes the point that no ship is going to be allowed to approach Gaza," the site said.