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Ships prefer confrontation with Israeli navy take place in daylight.
The Gaza protest flotilla changed course to gain distance from the Israeli navy boats which had hailed them, demanded they identify themselves and warned them they would not be allowed to reach Gaza, an Al-Jazeera reporter with the flotilla said just past midnight on Monday. According to the report, the flotilla organizers wish any confrontation to occur during daylight hours rather than in the dark.
The IDF contacted the boats by radio, clarified that the Gaza Strip is a closed military zone and offered the sailors two options: to follow the navy to Ashdod Port or be commandeered by commandos, according to flotilla organizers.
The initial contact took place about 200 km. off the Gaza Coast. Flotilla organizers said they detected three Israel Navy ships on the radar.
It asserted that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing in Gaza, a claim the organisers rejected.
HAIFA, Israel – Israeli warships stalked a flotilla carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and a Holocaust survivor heading for the Gaza Strip on Monday, edging closer to a naval showdown on the high seas.
Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers, said the six-ship flotilla began the journey from international waters off the coast of Cyprus on Sunday afternoon after two days of delays. She said they expected to reach Gaza, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) away, on Monday afternoon, and that two more ships would follow in "a second wave."
The flotilla was "fully prepared for the different scenarios" that might arise, and organizers were hopeful that Israeli authorities would "do what's right" and not stop the convoy, she said.
"We fully intend to go to Gaza regardless of any intimidation or threats of violence against us," she said. "They are going to have to forcefully stop us."
Originally posted by john124
Current levels of aid is only around a 1/4 of the bare minimum needed. Isn't that in breach of international law?
Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.
The Israeli Army Radio said soldiers opened fire “after confronting those on board carrying sharp objects”.
Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the ships.