Greek Troops Capture US Aid Ship Bound for Gaza

Israel Praises Move as Greece Now Blocking All Aid Ships

Shortly after news came that the US aid ship “The Audacity of Hope” had departed from port and was attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the vessel was attacked by heavily armed Greek commandos and forced to return to port.

US aid ship The Audacity of Hope with a Greek military vessel in the foreground

The activists on board the ship have been forced into a military dockyard surrounded with barbed wire, and report that after expelling the journalists who were on the ship, they have so far not let anyone else leave.

The move was quickly followed with an announcement from the Greek government that all ships hoping to deliver aid to Gaza have been banned from leaving port to “prevent breach of Israel’s naval blockade.” This has a number of aid vessels from myriad countries stuck in Greece for the foreseeable future. The Greek Hellenic Coast Guard is also said to be monitoring the sea to track other ships potentially trying to deliver goods to Gaza.

The move was condemned by aid workers, but loudly cheered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who termed his Greek counterpart George Papandreou “my friend” and lauded his action against what he termed “the provocation flotilla.”

Ironically, while “The Audacity of Hope” is named for a book by President Barack Obama, the Obama Administration has loudly decried efforts to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip, and has threatened to imprison Americans who take part in such deliveries.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.