NEWS

Gaza activists claim ship sabotaged by divers

Activists planning to break Israel?s sea blockade of the Gaza Strip said on Tuesday that they had increased security around their docked flotilla after what they alleged to be an act of sabotage on one of the vessels in the port of Piraeus.

The Associated Press quoted organizers as saying that ?hostile divers? had cut the propeller shaft of the Juliano. They said the damage can be repaired and will not hamper plans to set sail for Gaza later this week.

The journey of the 10-ship flotilla has already been held up by administrative problems with Greek port authorities that activists blame on Israeli diplomatic pressure.

A blockade of the port by Communist Party-affiliated protesters joining a 48-hour strike on Tuesday complicated matters. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told an Israeli radio station that the activists were seeking ?confrontation and blood,? according to Reuters.