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Israel Seizes Gaza Aid Boat

Common Dreams - An aid ship carrying eight Jewish activists from Europe, Israel, and the US was apprehended by the Israeli navy just miles off the coast of Gaza after being warned by a warship.

Navy commandos boarded the Irene, and then the passengers were led off the boat.

Rich Cooper, an organiser with Independent Jewish Voices, told Al Jazeera that his group is now demanding the immediate release of the activists.

The ship had left the port of Famagusta in Turkish-held northern Cyprus on Sunday afternoon.

The Israeli army had said it would offer to transfer the ship's aid supplies to the port of Ashdod and then ask the crew to turn back.

Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, had repeatedly warned that Israel will intercept any ship nearing Gaza, which is governed by the Palestinian group Hamas.

"In the tradition of the civil rights movement ... we assert our right to continue to Gaza under international law," Glyn Secker, the Irene's captain, told Al Jazeera on Monday. Read more.

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