Israeli navy officers boarded the Marianne of Gothenburg activist ship on Monday while it was trying to break Israel’s ongoing blockade of Gaza, AA reported.
The France-Palestine Solidarity Association described the situation as “state piracy,” accusing Israel of kidnapping the ship and forcing it travel to the port of Ashdod with a naval escort.
"It is a new act of piracy… Israel has no sovereignty over international waters off Gaza," the group said in a statement.
According to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, three Israeli naval vessels surrounded the Marianne on Monday morning in international waters off the coast of Gaza.
Israel has claimed that it attempted all diplomatic means to avert the ship before the intervention against it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the flotilla of being a “demonstration of hypocrisy” benefiting the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which controls Gaza and has been in conflict with Israel for decades.
Netanyahu claimed that Israel received UN support for the intervention.
Recalling the attack on the Mavi Marmara in which 10 civilian activists were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the vessel in 2015, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition said there was no reason to believe that the Marianne’s capture was uneventful.
“Israel's repeated acts of state piracy in international waters are worrying signs that the occupation and blockade policy extends to the entire eastern Mediterranean,” the coalition said in a statement.
“We demand that the Israeli government cease and desist the illegal detainment of peaceful civilians traveling in international waters in support of humanitarian aid,” it added.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq expressed contentment with the “peaceful completion” of the operation.