Gaza-bound Irish aid ship Rachel Corrie arrives at Israeli port

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Jerusalem, June 6(ANI): The Gaza-bound Irish aid ship, MV Rachel Corrie, which was forcibly diverted by the Israeli Navy, has arrived safely at the port of Ashdod in Israel.

The ship was diverted after the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) naval commandos detained it on Saturday for attempting to break the blockade of Gaza.achel Corrie had even ignored four calls to dock at Ashdod.

"This flotilla was to deliver much needed aid to the people of Gaza, but also to break the ongoing illegal blockade of the Gaza strip," Sky News quoted Freda Hughes, from the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, as saying.

Earlier on Saturday, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) naval commandos had boarded the vessel in international waters about 20 miles from the coast of Gaza after it ignored orders not to head for Gaza.

The IDF said that the activists on board, who included Irish and Malaysian citizens, did not enter into any confrontations with the troops.

All goods on board will now be inspected before being transferred to Gaza by land, the IDF said.

"The captain actually took the passengers and concentrated them in one end of the boat. The event is basically over. I am glad they chose to go through the legal way of passing goods to Gaza," said Avital Leibovitz, an IDF spokeswoman.

"The difference was the tactic the passengers took. The last flotilla decided to act in a violent manner," she added.

Rachel Corrie was meant to have travelled with the original six-ship convoy that Israeli commandos intercepted last week in an operation that killed nine people.

Members of the relief team on board include former UN Assistant Secretary-General Denis Halliday and Nobel peace prize winner Mairead Corrigan. (ANI)

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