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Israel Threatens Force Against Aid Boat to Gaza

Ship to Gaza Sweden informed of Israeli threat to use "force" if boat breaks blockade

Common Dreams staff

The Estelle, currently headed towards Gaza, has been informed that "Israel will intervene in the situation by using force" if they break the blockade. (photo: Ship to Gaza Sweden)

Finland said Saturday that Israel had warned it would "take action" and "use force" against an aid boat headed for Gaza.

Ship to Gaza Sweden on their aid boat Estelle left a port in Naples on Oct. 6, and are currently headed towards Gaza to break the Israeli-imposed blockade.

"Israel said that it would take action to stop the ship from reaching land if it tries to break the blockade," Finnish Foreign Ministry spokesman Risto Piipponen said, according to the Associated Press. "We pointed out that it is a civilian vessel and urged them to practice restraint in any action they take."

But the Ship to Gaza Sweden site, the group behind the Swedish-owned, Finnish-flaged aid boat Estelle, indicates that this "action" referenced by Piipponen is a threat of force that may put boat passengers' safety in danger.

In a media release, the group reports that the message they received from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland informed them: ”in case SV Estelle seeks to break the blockade at sea on Gaza (20 nautical miles), Israel will intervene in the situation by using force. Should this take place, the safety of the people on board may be jeopardized.”

"We hope that the people and the governments of the world will stand on the side of human rights and non-violence," responded the activists.

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