Israeli army gunboats on Wednesday intercepted a Palestinian humanitarian boat that left Gaza towards Cyprus, in an attempt to break the 11-year-old siege on Gaza.
The freedom flotilla originally consisted of three boats, two of which could not breach the naval blockade line enforced by Israel, which is nine miles off the coast of Gaza.
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) intercepted the third boat and detained the 17 individuals who were on it. The boat was carrying humanitarian cases, including patients, students and graduates who need to travel abroad to complete their treatment and study.
The boat was intercepted and towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod near Gaza.
The Israeli navy also detained a number of journalists who were onboard a fishing boat to accompany and cover the attempt.
On Wednesday, Israeli Naval Forces launched warning sirens, and later surrounded the boat, which started this morning on the first cruise from the port of Gaza to the world in order to break the Israeli siege that has been going on for about 12 years.
This flotilla came in conjunction with the eighth anniversary of the Israeli massacre of the activists on the Turkish Mavi Marmara flotilla in the international waters off the Gaza Strip on May 29, 2010.