” The Israeli navy took control of a boat that violated an Israeli blockade and crossed into Gazan waters Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces said, while a Gaza group said the ship was carrying humanitarian aid, a former U.S. congresswoman and a Nobel laureate.
The boat’s crew included former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, according to the Free Gaza Movement, a human rights group that sent the boat it calls “Spirit of Humanity” from Cyprus.
Along with McKinney, who served six terms in the House of Representatives from Georgia and was the Green Party’s presidential nominee in 2008, Israeli authorities took 20 people into custody, the group said.
Also aboard, the group said, was Mairead Maguire, who co-founded a group that worked for peace in Northern Ireland. Maguire and co-founder Betty Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for their work.
IDF said the Israeli navy contacted the boat, which it called the Arion, while it was still at sea and warned the crew they would not be allowed to enter Gazan waters “because of security risks in the area and the existing naval blockade.”