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Israeli Navy Boards French Ship On Way To Gaza

The Israeli Navy has boarded a French yacht carrying pro-Palestinian activists who were trying to sail through an Israeli blockade to reach the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the ship was forced to go to Israel's Ashdod port, adding that "everything went smoothly."

Activists on board the yacht had earlier reported they were being shadowed by four Israeli naval vessels.

The yacht left the Greek island of Kastellorizo on July 16 with 10 activists, three journalists, and three crew members.

It was part of a flotilla of the "Free Gaza" movement and other pro-Palestinian groups that have been trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.

Intense Israeli diplomacy saw Athens block all but one of the ships from leaving Greek ports.

compiled from agency reports