NEWS

Ministry warns Greeks from boarding aid boat to Gaza

The Foreign Ministry advised Greek citizens on Thursday to disembark a Finnish boat trying to break an Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid after it emerged that two SYRIZA deputies had boarded the vessel.

The Estelle on Thursday was sailing in international waters south of Crete, where leftist MPs Dimitris Kodelas and Vangelis Diamantopoulos boarded. Other Greek activists were believed to be on the ship too, along with MPs from Spain, Norway and Sweden. The Estelle was said to be carrying medical, sports and musical equipment, as well as children?s books.

The Foreign Ministry drew attention to the potential danger to passengers? safety. Nine Turkish citizens were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, a ship that tried to break the Gaza blockade in 2010.

Foreign Ministry officials spoke to Israel?s ambassador to Greece, Aryeh Mekel, to seek assurances about the safety of Greeks aboard the Estelle.