The Cable

Israeli official: Latest Gaza blockage ship contained no humanitarian aid

An Israeli government official sends along this photo that he contends shows the only "humanitarian" goods found aboard the Irene, a ship of Jewish activists who tried to break the Gaza blockage. The photo and others like it show four small backpacks with assorted toys for young children, such as coloring books, painting kits, and ...

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An Israeli government official sends along this photo that he contends shows the only "humanitarian" goods found aboard the Irene, a ship of Jewish activists who tried to break the Gaza blockage.

The photo and others like it show four small backpacks with assorted toys for young children, such as coloring books, painting kits, and small dolls. The Israeli official points to the items as evidence the sole purpose of the mission was a desire to create a confrontation with the Israeli forces that are enforcing the blockade of Gaza.

"The photos show that his was another example of an unnecessary provocation that has nothing to do with helping the people of Gaza or supplying them with humanitarian aid," the official said.

The Israel Defense Forces boarded the Irene Tuesday. The IDF said the interception was peaceful, but some of the activists claimed that Israeli troops employed violence, including the use of tasers. The ship set sail from Famagusta, Cyprus, and had 10 activists on board: 5 Israelis, 3 Brits, 1 German, and 1 American, all of whom were Jewish.

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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