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Gaza-bound flotilla intercepted off Israeli coast

The flotilla was attempting to break the Israeli blockade that has been in place for eight years.

File picture: AFP.

TEL AVIV - A Gaza-bound flotilla has been intercepted by Israeli commandos several dozen kilometres off the Israeli coast without any incidents of violence.

The flotilla was attempting to break the Israeli blockade that has been in place for eight years.

The largest of the four ships, a Swedish vessel called the Marianne Av Goteborg was boarded by Israeli commandos in the early hours of Monday morning

The navy advised the vessel several times to change course

But after ignoring the calls Israeli soldiers intercepted it while it was still in international waters.

The ship is currently being escorted to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Among the 18 activists on board is an Arab member of the Israeli parliament and a former Tunisian president.

Three smaller ships have returned to their origin of port.

The last flotilla attempt to break the Gaza blockade was five years ago during which nine people were killed.