Israelis Seize Gaza-Bound Irish Aid Ship
Forces encounter no resistance from activists
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Suggested by Disillusioned
Posted Jun 5, 2010 6:24 AM CDT
In this May 12, 2010 file photo, Derek Graham uses a bottle of Palestinian olive oil to officially name the cargo ship MV Rachel Corrie, after a after a rights activist killed by the Israeli military.   (Niall Carson)
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(Newser) – Israeli forces seized a Gaza-bound aid vessel without meeting resistance yesterday, preventing it from breaking an Israeli maritime blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory days after a similar effort turned bloody. The military said its forces boarded the 1,200-ton Rachel Corrie from the sea, not helicopters. Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich says yesterday's takeover took only a few minutes and that the vessel was being taken to Israel's Ashdod port.

Activists on board the boat, including Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan, had said they wouldn't resist if Israeli soldiers tried to take over their vessel. The Rachel Corrie was carrying just 11 passengers from Ireland and Malaysia, whose effort was mainly sponsored by the Free Gaza movement, a Cyprus-based group that has renounced violence. Nine crew were also on board.