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Gaza-bound aid ship Estelle attacked by Israeli forces

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The SV Estelle welcomes on board Greek pro-Palestinian activist Vassilis Pissias and a Greek left coalition Syriza party deputy on October 16.

A Gaza-bound Swedish ship carrying aid to Palestinians has “come under attack” by Israeli naval forces, a spokeswoman for the group says.

The Israeli forces attacked Estelle, a Swedish-owned ship under the Finnish flag, on Saturday in the international waters and kidnapped all activists, including five parliamentarians and a former Canadian lawmaker, aboard the ship.

There were about 30 people from eight countries on board, including Israeli citizens, lawmakers from Norway, Sweden, Greece and Spain and a 79-year-old former legislator from Canada.

“The Estelle is now under attack — I have just had a message from them by phone,” Victoria Strand, a Stockholm-based spokeswoman for the Ship to Gaza Sweden campaign said.

“Some time ago, they said that they had military ships following them, but we don’t know exactly what they mean” when they say they were attacked, she added.

The ship left the Italian port city of Naples on October 6 to breach Israel’s naval blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The Tel Aviv regime has warned that it will use its military force against the ship.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli forces attacked the Gaza-bound humanitarian Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, killing nine Turkish nationals aboard Turkey’s Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other activists who were part of the six-ship convoy.

Also in November 2011, a Canadian and an Irish yacht were prevented by Israeli forces in the international waters to transport pro-Palestinian activists and medical supplies to Gaza.

The Israeli regime denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.


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