The Swedish-registered Marianne of Gothenburg will now be taken to Ashdod port, after which the activists on board will likely be deported, as Israeli officials had warned.
“In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel several times to change course,” the IDF said in a statement.
“Following their refusal, forces visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent the intended breach of the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip. The forces have reported that use of force was unnecessary, and that the process was uneventful. The vessel is currently being escorted to Ashdod Port and is expected to arrive within 12-24 hours,” it went on. …
“This flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region. Preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General,” Netanyahu said in a statement released to the press.
Earlier, flotilla organizers said that three other boats accompanying the Marianne had turned back to their ports of origin, without explaining why, and that the Marianne was sailing toward Gaza on its own.