Israel blocks Moldovan-flagged ship from Gaza

May 16, 2011 - 4:14 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has blocked a Moldovan-flagged vessel leased by a Malaysian anti-war group from reaching the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Israel maintains a naval blockade of Gaza and restricts goods transferred overland to the Palestinian territory, citing concerns they would be used to attack Israel.

The military said Monday that it ordered the ship to return to an Egyptian port where it had been anchored for several days. But it said the vessel disregarded the order, prompting it to fire warning shots into the air. The ship then changed course to return to Egypt.

The Malaysian group, the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, says its ship was fired at when it tried to reach Gaza. The military denied firing at the ship.

Perdana said no one was injured.