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Israel authorizes interception of second Gaza flotilla

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The Israeli Security Cabinet has approved the interception of the second Freedom Flotilla attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli prime minister's advisor, Alex Selsky, said on Monday.

The Israeli Security Cabinet has approved the interception of the second Freedom Flotilla attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli prime minister's advisor, Alex Selsky, said on Monday.

"Maximum efforts will be made to prevent violence and avoid contacts with ships' passengers," Selsky said.

International human rights organizations earlier announced plans to send 11 vessels by the end of June to Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade for the past four years. Hundreds of human rights activists from 40 countries are expected to be on board the vessels as well as members of the European Parliament and 40 journalists from all over the world.

On Sunday, Israel threatened to ban foreign journalists from entering the country for 10 years if they are caught traveling with the Freedom Flotilla.

Last May, a similar flotilla was intercepted by the Israeli Navy, who killed nine of its Turkish participants. The deadly raid attracted widespread international condemnation and the UN said the Israeli commandos showed an "unacceptable level of brutality."

The Foreign Press Association (FPA) condemned Israel's decision and urged it to withdraw the threat.

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