Israeli warships on Tuesday intercepted a Jewish activist boat trying to reach Gaza Strip after it refused to heed calls to change course, organisers told AFP. "Ten Israeli warships forced the boat to head for (the Israeli port) of Ashdod by force, but without raiding the ship," said Amjad al-Shawa, a Gaza-based organiser was quoted as saying.
According to Shawa, he warships had surrounded the tiny British-flagged vessel and warned they would stop it by force if it stayed on course for the Hamas-run enclave.
Earlier, Yonatan Shapira, a former Israeli military pilot Israeli on board, said the navy had made contact and ordered the "Irene" to change course. "They said we were approaching an area under naval blockade and told us to change course," Shapira told AFP by satellite telephone, saying the boat was about 20 miles from the Gaza coast.