#Estelle Ship to Gaza | PHOTOS | Activists wait near Ashdod port for Estelle ship

Oct 20, 2012 Photo by ActiveStills

The mother of Israeli activist, Elik Elhanan, looks into a police van, as he is brought into the Ashdod police station, after three Israeli activists were arrested on the Estelle ship on their way to Gaza, October 20, 2012.
Israeli sailors seized the ship as it approached the waters of the Gaza Strip, somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 October 2012. The Israeli army took over the ship as it was trying to brake the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza strip.
Photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org

An Israeli activist holds a sign in support of Gaza near the entrance to the port of Ashdod October 20, 2012. The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship in the Mediterranean sea on Saturday to prevent it breaching its blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said. She said no one was hurt when marines boarded the SV Estelle, a three-mast schooner, and that it was rerouted to Israel’s southern port of Ashdod after it ignored orders to turn away from the Hamas-governed Palestinian enclave. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Activists wait for Estelle ship, Ashdod port, Israel, 20.10.2012
An Israeli activist holds a sign against the siege on Gaza as she sits on a beach near the Ashdod port, waiting for the Israeli navy to escort the Finnish ship SV Estelle into the port.
Israeli sailors seized the ship as it approached the waters of the Gaza Strip, somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 October 2012. The Israeli army took over the ship as it was trying to brake the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza strip.
Photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org

Israeli activists hold signs in support of Gaza near the entrance to the port of Ashdod October 20, 2012. The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship in the Mediterranean sea on Saturday to prevent it breaching its blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said. She said no one was hurt when marines boarded the SV Estelle, a three-mast schooner, and that it was rerouted to Israel’s southern port of Ashdod after it ignored orders to turn away from the Hamas-governed Palestinian enclave. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Palestinian protesters hold anti-Israeli slogans during a demonstration in Gaza port on October 20, 2012, to support the Estelle ship, carrying pro-Palestinian activists seeking to breach Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza. Israeli troops led Finnish-flagged Estelle boat to Ashdod port in southern Israel, blocking the latest attempt to reach the enclave by sea, the military said. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images) 2012 AFP

A pro-Palestinian ship named Estelle is escorted to Ashdod port in southern Israel after it was seized by Israeli navy October 20, 2012. The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship on the Mediterranean high seas on Saturday to prevent it breaching Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said. The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement and goodwill items such as children’s books, a mission spokesman said on Saturday. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A pro-Palestinian ship named Estelle is escorted to Ashdod port in southern Israel after it was seized by Israeli navy October 20, 2012. The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship on the Mediterranean high seas on Saturday to prevent it breaching Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said. The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement and goodwill items such as children’s books, a mission spokesman said on Saturday. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A pro-Palestinian ship named Estelle is escorted to Ashdod port in southern Israel after it was seized by Israeli navy October 20, 2012. The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship on the Mediterranean high seas on Saturday to prevent it breaching Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said. The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement and goodwill items such as children’s books, a mission spokesman said on Saturday. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The parents of Israeli activist, Elik Elhanan, protest with other activists outside the Ashdod police station, after three Israeli activists were arrested on the Estelle ship on their way to Gaza, October 20, 2012.
Israeli sailors seized the ship as it approached the waters of the Gaza Strip, somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 October 2012. The Israeli army took over the ship as it was trying to brake the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza strip.
Photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org

Israeli activists hold signs against the Israeli siege on Gaza, as they protest outside the Ashdod police station, after three Israeli activists were brought to it, on October 20, 2012.
Israeli sailors seized the ship as it approached the waters of the Gaza Strip, somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 October 2012. The Israeli army took over the ship as it was trying to brake the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza strip.
Photo by: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org

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More photos

Oct 21, 2012 | EXCLUSIVE | See photos from the Free Gaza boat Estelle intercepted by the IDF off the coast of Gaza972Mag

The following are exclusive photos taken on board the Estelle, as the ship was sailing toward the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break Israel’s siege on the coastal territory. The Israeli navy took over the ship before it reached its destination, and arrested some twenty activists, among them three Israeli citizens.

Huge efforts were made by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office to curtail media coverage of the story. The ship was brought into the Ashdod Port after dark, more than ten hours after the Israeli forces took it over. Later that night, the Israeli citizens under arrest were brought to a police station through a back door, to prevent media from covering their arrival. The IDF spokesman told Israeli media there was no humanitarian aid on the boat, as claimed by activists, but refused to release documentation to support his claims.

The photos below shows the hours before the ship was intercepted, and minutes before the IDF takeover. The activists are seen releasing pigeons towards the Israeli forces. The last photo shows Israeli naval commandos advancing towards the ship, and we can assume that it was not possible to continue shooting afterwards. According to testimonies given by the arrested activists, IDF used taser guns during the takeover. All international activists were transferred to the custody of Israel immigration authorities. The three Israeli activists will be brought to court this morning.

Pro-Palestinian activists share a meal aboard the Estelle. (photo: Activestills)

 






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