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article image'Rachel Corrie' aid ship shadowed by Israeli navy

By Tar De Moutonnoir     Jun 4, 2010 in Politics
The MV Rachel Corrie has been intercepted by Israeli naval forces but continues on its way to Gaza Saturday as earlier reports of boarding prove to be false.
Initial reports suggested the MV Rachel Corrie was boarded by the Israeli navy with all activists being arrested without incident.
Irish human rights group 'IPSC Waterford' reported via Twitter that the ship had been seized and was being taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod.
According to the group's Twitter feed, the ship reported its radars being jammed shortly before being boarded and seized by Israeli forces.
Doubts began to emerge about the report after activists aboard the ship denied being seized, saying their ship continued to be followed but had not been boarded and that they were within 25 miles off the Gaza shore.
The activists had earlier tweeted being shadowed by at least two Israeli warships leading up to the interception.
According to Haaretz, a statement by Free Gaza Movement spokesman Greta Berlin confirmed the ship had arrived within 35 miles of Gaza when warships appeared.
There were two warships in the back of them ... and a smaller boat was approaching, Berlin said from the movement's headquarters in Cyprus, citing a passenger on board.
Berlin went on to retract earlier statements, saying information suggesting boarding and seizure of the ship were based on unconfirmed reports from an Israeli radio station.
They have not been boarded. They are being followed.
Associated Press states the ship isn't being boarded by Israeli forces, but shadowed by Israeli ships. "Israeli troops still hadn't boarded the Rachel Corrie...the Israeli vessels had not yet made contact with the activists' ship," according to Free Gaza's lawyer.
The aid ship is on its way to the Gaza Strip on a humanitarian mission to break the three-year-long Israeli blockade of the Palestinian territory. A six ship flotilla had been seized Monday resulting in a violent melee aboard the ship and causing the deaths of nine activists.
Haaretz is reporting that the Rachel Corrie is refusing Israeli orders to stop and unload its cargo in Ashdod port.
Army spokesman says navy preparing for possible use of force
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