Gaza-bound boat docks at Israeli port after interception

BREAKING NEWS South African activist captured by Israeli armed forces

Palestinians show their solidarity with a Gaza-bound flotilla of worldwide activists attempting to break the Israeli blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, on October 5, 2016 at the port in Gaza City.

The humanitarian ship was heading to Gaza when Israeli forces seized and herded it to Ashdod Port.

An official military statement said that the "search of the vessel was uneventful" and that it had repeatedly advised the vessel to change course before taking action.

Palestinians accuse Israel of using excessive force during the 2014 Gaza war and say Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank is a war crime.

The Zaytouna-Oliva set sail from Barcelona in September with women of various nationalities aboard, including Ms Maguire, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her peace efforts in Northern Ireland.

The boat is reportedly sponsored by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, a group of pro-Palestinian groups based mostly in Europe.

The Women's Boat To Gaza mission - coordinated by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition - described the incident as "kidnapping" on their Twitter page.

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The three Palestinian Arabic dailies Thursday highlighted several Israeli airstrikes that targeted locations to the north and east of the Gaza Strip after a missile fell on the southern Israeli city of Sderot.

Thirteen female activists are heading home after being deported by Israel following their attempt to break the Gaza blockade, organizers said Friday.

Since 2007, the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has groaned under a crippling Israeli/Egyptian blockade that has deprived its nearly two million inhabitants of most basic commodities, including food, fuel, medicine and desperately-needed building materials.

An operation in 2010 turned to bloodshed when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists in a raid on a flotilla, leading to a six-year break in diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey. Earlier this week, the Israeli Navy intercepted the Women's Boat.

A spokesperson for the Green Party has told 1 News they understand the women's boat and crew is being towed to a port in Israel. Among the women on the flotilla were Mairead Maguire, a 1976 Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland, and a retired US army colonel named Ann Wright.

He said the goal was "symbolic" - to call attention to the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, which he called illegal.

After initially refusing cooperation, Israel is holding discussions with ICC prosecutors over their initial Gaza probe.

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