Hamas-Supporting Gaza Flotilla Turns Back After Israeli Navy Fires Warning Shots

An Israeli Navy vessel passes by the Tamar drilling natural gas production platform during a squadron exercise on May 27, 2013 off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel launched a nation-wide exercise today to test the civilian population's response to a possible massive rocket attack from three …
Uriel Sinai/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: The Israeli navy fired warning shots at a flotilla that set sail from a Gaza Strip port on Saturday in the latest attempt to breach the maritime blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt on the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave.

The fleet of some 40 boats turned back to Gaza after the warning shots were fired. Saturday’s flotilla was part of the Hamas-led “March of Return” protests, which organizers said was aimed at highlighting the importance of lifting the blockade on the Strip, a provision outlined in a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas currently under negotiation.

“It sends a message to the Palestinian factions involved in the negotiating the ceasefire agreement that we will not agree to any solution that does not include lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip,” organizers said, according to the Ynet news site, just before setting sail.

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