At 5:50 AM Israeli time the ship Rachel Corrie was boarded and taken by the Israeli Navy. They apparently jammed all communications and there is no word on what happened next.
Three navy boats were involved.
They don’t mention being boarded..
UPDATE 1: The Jerusalem Post is now reporting that the the boat was in fact NOT boarded, but is being followed.
The Rachel Corrie, an Irish ship planning to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza was reported early Saturday to be sailing along the North African coast and had recently passed Alexandria in Egypt.
According to the report on Israel Radio, the ship was planning to reach Gaza at 7 AM when it would be visible from the coast, so that any boarding could be filmed.
Juan Cole of Informed Comment wrote a good post today on this situation with this ship carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza: Rachel Corrie Steaming toward Gaza – Likud Vows it will Not Arrive
From Huffington Post earlier today: Gaza Blockade: Israel Vows To Block Rachel Corrie, New Aid Ship
Today CNN named Rachel’s parents Craig and Cindy Corrie today’s “Most Intriguing Person[s]“.
Listen to this interview with Rachel’s father Craig Corrie discussing the ship MV Rachel Corrie being named after his daughter, which aired May 30, 2010:
UPDATE 3: Salem-News.com reports: Freedom Flotilla’s MV Rachel Corrie Spotted Off Gaza Coastline
Israeli Defense Forces have Twittered confirmation that the Rachel Corrie has not been boarded. The IDF says they want the Rachel Corrie to proceed to the port of Ashdod, Israel, but the activists aboard the remaining vessel dedicated toward breaking the siege of Gaza, say they will stay on course, for the port at Gaza.
Ben Wedeman of CNN reported around 10:06 p.m. west coast time via Twitter, that, “Through binoculars can see ship to Northwest with smaller vessels around it. Could be Rachel Corrie.
It was reported at 10:17 p.m. that Israeli naval activity in the Gaza port is more intense than usual, presumably in anticipation of the arrival of the Rachel Corrie. (Read on..)
UPDATE 4: 6 Minutes ago from CNN (11 PM PST):
Ashdod, Israel (CNN) — The Israeli military has been in contact with an Irish-owned aid ship headed for Gaza, but has not boarded the boat, Israeli military officials said Saturday.
A crew member on board who spoke to CNN Saturday night said three Israeli ships were following the MV Rachel Corrie, a cargo ship loaded with humanitarian aid and bound for Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade.
The military said it made an identification request to the boat but had not issued a warning to the vessel. The MV Rachel Corrie was 40 miles from shore, the military said.
The BBC is also reporting that the Israeli navy has intercepted the MV Rachel Corrie, but not boarded as yet. The Israeli navy has warned the people aboard the MV Rachel Corrie that they will not let them reach Gaza.. The latest from BBC.. – Israeli navy ‘shadowing’ Rachel Corrie Gaza aid ship
UPDATE 5: According to the IDF Spokesperson Twitter page :
19 minutes ago “according to last update, Rachel Corrie ~40 miles from shore”, 23 minutes ago “Rachel Corrie has now rejected 2nd call from IDF navy to dock at Ashdod Port”
Further updates will be in the comments..