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Wednesday
Jul202011

Fifteen Pro-Palestinian Activists Deported in Israeli Naval Blockade

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstoc(JERUSALEM) -- The Israeli Navy Tuesday made good on its vow to stop any ship from breaking its naval blockade of Gaza. But unlike last year's violent incident, the Israeli naval takeover of a French yacht went off without any clashes.  

While the group didn't reach the shores of Gaza, their sail has stirred debate once again on the legality of Israel's control of Gaza's water and land borders. Israel has deported the 15 pro-Palestinian activists from the Gaza-bound aid ship, and all of them are expected to leave Wednesday.

In May 2010, six ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla attempted to break the Israeli-Egyptian blockade to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.  When Israeli naval officers boarded the ships for inspection, the activists resisted, causing violent clashes to break out aboard the vessels. Nine activists and dozens of others were wounded as a result of the incident.

Israel claims its naval blockade of Gaza is legal under international law because it is technically at war with the terrorist group Hamas. Many legal experts agree, but others, like these flotilla activists, say the policy is illegal and unjust because it ends up punishing 1.5 million Gazans.

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