Israeli troops boarded a European ship that was attempting to break Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip Saturday. The ship was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, including five European lawmakers, reports the New York Times. Those aboard did not resist the seizure and Israel’s Navy took the ship to a port in southern Israel. It marked the latest attempt to challenge Israel’s embargo on Gaza that it claims is part of an effort to prevent weapons smuggling.
Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu praised the military action and insisted that despite what the activists claim, there “is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” He added that “if human rights were really important to these activists they would have sailed for Syria,” reports the Associated Press.
More than a dozen ships have tried to break the blockade since 2010, when Israeli troops killed nine activists during a raid on a flotilla of six ships. Although a U.N. inquiry into the incident found that Israel’s blockade is legal, it criticized the country’s navy for excessive force, notes Reuters. Hamas, which controls Gaza, has called for more attempts to break the blockade.