Iran’s Foreign Ministry has severely condemned Israel’s recent attack on a Swedish-flagged ship heading to the Gaza Strip as part of an aid flotilla to break the regime’s long-time blockade on the coastal sliver.
The seizure of the Marianne of Gothenburg by the Israeli navy in international waters, the inhumane blockade imposed on the people of Gaza, and last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip are all completely against international law, IRNA quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham as saying on Wednesday.
She called on international organizations and governments to break the silence on Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip, stressing that the blockade on Gaza must be lifted.
On Monday, Israel seized Marianne of Gothenburg that was part of the Freedom Flotilla III carrying nearly 20 pro-Palestinian activists from nine countries to Gaza.
The ship was then directed to the Israeli port of Ashdod, prompting the three other vessels to turn back over fears that the Israeli navy would use deadly force.
The flotilla had planned to arrive at Gaza despite concerns over possible attempts by Tel Aviv to disrupt its mission as it did to the first flotilla in 2010. Back then, Israeli naval forces attacked the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, which led to the death of 10 activists.
The blockade on Gaza, in place since 2007, has caused a serious decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty in the impoverished territory.
Over 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed during the 50-day war on Gaza last summer.