IDF navy forces boarded and took control of the MV Rachel Corrie Saturday afternoon. The troops did not meet any resistance from activists attempting to break the Gaza blockade, and the operation was completed without violent incidents.
The military said its forces boarded the 1,200-ton cargo ship from the sea, not helicopters. Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said Saturday’s takeover took only a few minutes and that the vessel was being taken to Ashdod port.
Prior to the takeover, three navy ships tailed the aid boat for several hours throughout the morning, a few dozen kilometers from the blockaded Strip. The army said it had contacted the boat four times and urged its passengers to divert to Ashdod, but the activists had repeatedly refused.
The IDF had said that it would have no choice but to board the ship if it did not agree to go to Ashdod.