Time: 6p.m. (local time)
On 29 May 2018, Israeli forces intercepted a boat carrying students, patients, and injured Palestinians as it left the Gaza sea port in an attempt to break the policy of closure and blockade, also referred to as the ‘siege’.
The national committee that planned the Great Return March announced its plans to set out on what it called the “Boat for Freedom and Breaking the Siege” on Tuesday, 29 May 2018. The declared goal of the voyage is to breach the Israeli closure and blockade and thereby enable the travel of patients and Palestinian residents of Gaza in exercise of their right to freedom of movement. The boat set out at 12:15pm for Northern Cyprus. 17 Palestinians were on board: seven patients and a sibling of a patient, four students, and five crew members.
At 3:40pm, when the boat was about 14 nautical miles from Gaza’s shore, it was stopped and seized by Israeli warships. The Israeli media reported that passengers were taken to Ashdod sea port.
Al Mezan condemns the interception of the boat, which was striving to breach an illegal closure and blockade that amounts to a collective punishment under international law. The Israeli authorities are wholly responsible for the life and safety of the people who were on board.
Al Mezan calls on the international community, led by High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to take actions to ensure their safety and to seek an end to the closure and blockade policy with all of its devastating components.
1 https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-seizes-protest-boat-trying-to-break-gaza-blockade/ Times of Israel, Israel intercepts protest boat trying to break Gaza blockade. 29 May 2018