NZ union leader claims he's been 'kidnapped by Israeli Navy'

Members of the Israeli security forces close down a street in the Old City of Jerusalem

Members of the Israeli security forces close down a street in the Old City of Jerusalem

Israel's navy has intercepted a Norwegian-flagged activist boat trying to break its decade-plus blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The "Freedom Flotilla" group said that the boat had been "seized" and that the ship had received a warning from the navy prior to the interception.

The flotilla aimed to break the Israeli regime's blockade on the coastal enclave.

This is not the first time that a flotilla has traveled to Gaza in an effort to draw attention to the campaign to end the blockade. It has led to a catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza.

About 40 activists from 15 countries are on board the vessels.

Adham Abu Salima, a spokesperson for Gaza's National Committee for Breaking the Siege, confirmed the attack by Israeli forces on the Freedom Flotilla ship.

An activist group affiliated with the boat, the Al-Awda (The Return), said 22 people and a cargo of medical supplies were onboard.

Tension in Gaza has been high since the Palestinians launched the ongoing "Great March of Return" on March 30, which demands the lift of the blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2007.

Regev referred to the IDF derogatorily as the Israeli Occupation Force. "The operation ended without incidents", said Israeli military.

The Israeli decision came in response to the Palestinian arson kites and helium balloons flying from Gaza into Israel, which caused large fire and losses in the Israeli territory.

Although they expected the interception to happen, those on board noted they sailed "as a symbolic means of drawing global attention to the plight of 1.8 million people living in Gaza under that siege", Stratford said.

Shortly before 3 pm, the bridge of the ship wrote on Twitter that Israel Navy officials had "hijacked" the ship and said the military would use "any means necessary" to prevent the protesters from reaching Gaza.

The blockade has faced criticism from various United Nations and humanitarian groups, which organizations like the Red Cross calling the blockade a type of "collective punishment" imposed on the Gazan people. At the time, Israel's foreign ministry said it had provided the flotilla with permission.

Most of the Palestinians killed were members of the Hamas terror group, according to the group itself.

"Many Gaza Strip testimonies raise fundamental doubts about the credibility of the Hamas Health Ministry's statement on the killing of terrorist operatives late last night in the northern Gaza Strip".

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