HELSINKI — Finland says Israel has warned the country it will take action against a boat carrying pro-Palestinian activists trying to break a naval blockade of Gaza.
The Finnish Foreign Ministry says Jerusalem sent a message earlier this week, but it didn’t say what action would be taken against the Finnish-flagged Estelle.
Ministry spokesman Risto Piipponen said Saturday that Finland urged Israel for restraint, because it was a non-military vessel with civilians on board.
The ship set sail from Naples, Italy for the Hamas-controlled enclave last Saturday.
The schooner Estelle’s passengers and crew include 17 activists from Israel, Sweden, the US, Canada and Norway. It is expected to reach the Gaza coast by mid-October. Since setting out from Sweden three months ago, the Estelle has docked at several Europeans ports, where passengers have held conferences to raise awareness of the situation in Gaza.
Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza after the militant Islamic Hamas seized control of it in 2007 from secular rival Fatah.
Under heavy international pressure, Israel eased the closure in 2010 after a naval raid killed nine Turkish activists on board a Gaza-bound flotilla, the Mavi Marmara.