Israel Navy Warns Last Remnant of Flotilla Not to Approach Gaza Shore

The French yacht Dignite-Al Karame nearing Gaza Strip; Israel Navy warns yacht it is nearing a blockaded area, in which case navy would have to intercept it; In video, yacht says its final destination is the Gaza port.

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The French yacht Dignite-Al Karame, the only remnant of the Gaza-bound flotilla, was some 50 miles away from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning when an Israel Navy ship started trailing the yacht and warned it from entering blockaded waters.

The Israel Navy contacted the Karame and demanded that the passengers identify themselves and state if they were carrying weapons on board. A member of the Greek delegation to Gaza answered the questions and promised that they are not carrying any kind of weapons. He said their destination is the Gaza port.

The Karame was still sailing toward Gaza on Tuesday morning, closely followed by the Israel Navy.

An Israel Defense Forces official confirmed that the Israel Navy contacted the yacht, and warned it that it is nearing a blockaded area. Defense establishment sources stressed that they will not allow any kind of vessels to dock in the Gaza Strip, so any ship trying to break the blockade will be intercepted.

Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement said the Dignite-Al Karame had previously declared Alexandria, Egypt, as its destination so it could slip out of Greece, and then changed its route to Gaza, saying it was a legal move.

Defense establishment sources said Sunday they expected no violent resistance from the 10 activists and three crew members aboard the Dignite-Al Karame, so its interception should be swift and smooth.

On Sunday night, 48 hours after leaving the Greek port at Kastellorizo and entering international waters, the French boat was nearing the Egyptian city of Port Said. The idea of entering Egyptian waters was dropped in view of the country's precarious political situation, and the yacht stopped in international waters.

The ‘Dignitי - Al Karama’ (Dignity - Al Karama) ship sailing off the coast of the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on June 25, 2011 to join the new pro-Palestinian aid flotilla.Credit: AFP

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