The Israeli Navy intercepted the latest anti-Gaza blockade flotilla, attempting to dock in Gaza, early yesterday morning.
The flotilla was warned to either change course to Ashdod, where their cargo would be transferred to Gaza via the normal channels after undergoing inspections, or turn back.
One of the 4 vessels in the flotilla had already turned back prior to the Israeli Navy's interception. Two more of the vessels in the flotilla heeded the Navy's warnings and then turned back as well.
When it became clear that the "Marianne", carrying the leader of the flotilla's organizers, ex-Israeli Dror Feiler, as well as the Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas, had no intention of changing course or turning back and all diplomatic channels had been exhausted, forces of the Navy's Shayetet 13 were ordered to board the ship and take it to Ashdod port.
The boarding and control of the vessel went without incident. After the ship arrived in Ashdod Monday night, the passengers will be questioned and deported from Israel via Ben Gurion Airport. Israeli MK Basel Ghattas was handed over to the Israel Police. If the vessel is found to be carrying any goods destined for Gaza these will be transferred via the normal channels.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said, "This flotilla was not a humanitarian one and was not concerned for anyone's welfare. The participants' desire was to continue the campaign of Israel's de-legitimization."