Lebanese cargo ship
Photo: AFP

Report: Israeli navy fires on Lebanese aid ship

Ship carrying activists, 60 tons supplies to Gaza attacked by Israeli gunboats, Al-Jadeed and Al-Jazeera journalists on board say; no casualties. TV station says troops boarded ship, threatened crew

Reporters on board a cargo ship carrying activists and supplies from Lebanon to Gaza said Israeli gunboats fired on the vessel.


Reporters from Al-Jadeed and Al-Jazeera TVs said the Israeli navy fired three times on the ship. The shooting caused no casualties. The local Al-Jadeed station says Israeli troops then boarded the ship and threatened the crew.


It said the ship was surrounded by 18 Israeli gunboats demanding the crew turn back.


The Israeli army confirmed the report, adding that the boat was towed to the Ashdod port and that the crew was taken in for questioning.


The journalists claimed that the Navy had contacted the ship's captain over the radio and warned him not to continue towards Gaza. The captain said that the Israel troops damaged the radios and other technical apparatus.  


The Togo-flagged "Tali," with about 60 tons of aidand eight activists and journalists, left Lebanon Tuesday. After an overnight stop in Cyprus, it sailed on to Gaza Wednesday morning trying to reach the strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade.


The supplies were donated by Lebanese citizens and organizations.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed that the navy seized the boat and led it to the Ashdod Port, after learning it was trying to approach Gaza via Egypt.


"The Navy boarded a small vessel making its way to Gaza from Tripoli, despite the sea embargo. The crew told us they understood they could not enter the waters and that they would be turning back to the El Arish Port.


"Once in Egyptian waters, the ship tried to 'crawl' back to Gaza waters, at which point the navy stopped it."


פרסום ראשון: 02.05.09, 11:54
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