A short while ago, Israeli Navy soldiers boarded “Estelle”, a vessel which was en-route to the Gaza Strip, attempting to break the maritime security blockade. The boarding was carried out in accordance with international law, with directives of the Israeli Government and after all attempts to prevent the vessel from reaching the Gaza Strip were made, both via direct contact and through diplomatic channels, but to no avail.
The boarding was carried out only after numerous calls to the passengers onboard; as a result of their unwillingness to cooperate and after ignoring calls to change course, the decision was made to board the vessel and lead it to the port of Ashdod.
The Israeli Navy soldiers operated as planned, and took every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of the passengers. After boarding the vessel by IDF soldiers, who did not need to use force, the passengers were attended to and offered food and beverages.
Upon arrival of the vessel at the Ashdod port, the passengers will be transferred to the custody of the Israel Police and immigration authorities at the Ministry of Interior.
It should be stressed that any organization or state who wishes to transfer supplies or aid to the Gaza Strip can do so via the existing land crossings and in coordination with Israeli authorities.