The Israeli navy turned back a Libyan ship on Monday as it tried to transport humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said. According to them, the ship, Al-Marwa, sailed instead to a port in neighbouring Egypt. It had departed from Libya last Monday, carrying 3,000 tonnes of food, medicine and other aid, Palestinian and Libyan officials said, according to Reuters.
Israel said there had been no physical confrontation between its naval vessels and the Libyan ship. "They understood that the navy was there and decided to turn around," said Andy David, a Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman. "We have a very clear policy (on the blockade) which is constantly publicised."
The Libyan boat is the first such effort to break the blockade by an Arab state.