Israeli sources reported that the Israeli Navy stopped, on Tuesday, the Dignity solidarity ship that was heading to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip, no clashes were reported. Israeli Radio, Reshet Bet, reported that around 10:30 in the morning, the Navy controlled the ship without any clashes, and that the ship will be towed to the Ashdod Port.
Israeli daily, Yedioth Aharonoth, reported that, following negotiations between the crew and the Navy, Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General, Benny Gantz, ordered the navy to take over the ship “after the activists refused to alter the rout of the ship to Ashdod”.
There are thirteen persons onboard the Dignity ship, including a French Parliamentarian and reporters of the Qatar-based, Al Jazeera.
The Israeli Navy claimed, prior to intercepting the vessel that it was sailing on a route that leads to “an area that is under a maritime siege, and that the humanitarian supplies onboard the ship “will be moved to Gaza by legal means”.
According to Yedioth Aharonoth, the Israeli “Population and Immigration Authority (PIA) stated that the activists onboard the ship “we entering Israel using illegal means”.
The PIA intends to deport the activists, an issue that effectively means that they will not be allowed into Israel for the coming 10 years. This also means that they will be prevented from entering the occupied West Bank as all borders are under full Israeli control.
Also, the activists will be informed that they have to choose between being deported immediately, or face imprisonment pending a court hearing.
The ship sailed from Greece on Sunday evening, and declared that it will be heading to an Egyptian port. Later on, the activists said that they have adjusted their route to sail directly to Gaza.