Israel intercepts aid boat bound for besieged Gaza Strip

Israeli warships on Sunday intercepted the Al Awda a Norwegian-flagged activist boat trying to break its more than decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip

Protesters demand the "right of return" to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

Two incidents this year saw the Israeli navy stop Gaza fishing boats attempting to break out of the blockade rather than into it, with the intention of seeking medical assistance.

A police spokesman said the troopers were sent into al-Aqsa after suspects who had barricaded themselves in after running confrontations in the surrounding compound, during which masked men launched firecrackers from handheld canisters.

Police put the number of arrests at 24, and said four of its officers were injured in the melee.

It said afterwards on Twitter that the boat had been "hijacked by Israeli forces".

The statement from the group characterised the action as an Israeli "attack" saying the crew and passengers had been "kidnapped".

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Al-Aqsa compound, also revered by Jews as a vestige of their two ancient temples, was among areas Israel captured in a 1967 war with Jordan, which retains a stewardship role at the mosque. The Israeli regime also carries out regular air raids on the coastal enclave under the pretext of hitting positions belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. From 2008 through 2016, global activists have sailed 31 ships to challenge the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.

Funerals were held Saturday for Moumin and two others killed Friday, Majdi al-Satari, an 11-year-old boy, and Ghazi Abu Mustafa, 43, who attended the demonstration on crutches after he was wounded in an earlier protest.

While several foreign powers have censured Israel's handling of Gaza, the United States has echoed its blaming of Hamas.

In a written statement, Eraket said that Israel should face trial in worldwide courts due to its "systematic violations" against the Palestinian people and violations of global law.

Dozens of Palestinians were left injured after Israeli security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades at Muslim worshippers as they were exiting Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque after Friday prayers, according to a Palestinian official. The Israelis have responded by preventing the entry of non-essential commercial goods to Gaza.

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