Credit: Hadar Ben Shimol, IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

Boarding was conducted after Al-Karame vessel ignored numerous appeals to not approach the coast of the Gaza Strip

Date: 19/07/2011, 1:02 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

Israeli naval forces on Tuesday afternoon (July 19) boarded the Al-Karame vessel. The boarding was conducted in accordance with the orders of the Israeli government after numerous appeals, delivered both directly to the ship and via diplomatic channels, for the ship not to attempt to reach the Gaza Strip were ignored.

After it became clear that the ship would not cooperate and accept Israel’s invitation to dock at the Ashdod port, it was decided to intercept the ship and lead it to Ashdod.

IDF (Zahal) forces took all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the passengers on the deck of the ship.

After taking control of the ship, IDF (Zahal) forces checked the condition of the passengers and offered them food and drink.

Upon arrival at the Ashdod port, the passengers will be turned over to officials from the Israel Police, the Immigration and Population Authority and the Interior Ministry.

The IDF (Zahal) wishes to emphasize that any country or organization seeking to send humanitarian aid to Gaza can do so in a legal and orderly manner at any time via land crossings, in coordination with Israeli authorities.