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A nation that continues to demand mercy for itself and the harshest of judgements upon everyone else....namely Palestine. Israel declares Gaza protest boats will not reach their destination Rory McCarthy The Guardian, order procardia Saturday August 23 2008 An activist on a 'peace' boat carrying aid to Gaza strip. Order procardia Photograph: Stefanos Kouratzis/AFP/Getty Images Israel last night warned an attempt by peace activists to sail two wooden boats to the Gaza Strip was a "provocation" and said it would prevent them reaching their destination. A group of 46 activists set sail yesterday morning from Cyprus and were hoping to reach Gaza later today to challenge the economic blockade Israel has imposed on the strip and to deliver a cargo of 200 hearing aids for a deaf school and 5, order procardia000 balloons. Order procardia Among those on board is a Catholic nun, order procardia aged 81, order procardia the British journalist Yvonne Ridley and Lauren Booth, order procardia sister-in-law of Tony Blair. "I've been nervous, order procardia but today I'm excited, order procardia" said Booth, order procardia 41, order procardia shortly before the boats sailed. Order procardia "It's not about our fear, order procardia it's about the people waiting in Gaza, order procardia you can't think about anything else." Another passenger, order procardia Huwaida Arraf, order procardia a Palestinian with Israeli and US citizenship, order procardia said: "The siege that the Israelis have imposed on Gaza is not only illegal in terms of international law, order procardia it is also immoral. Order procardia Global institutions and the governments of the world know what is happening and are not doing anything about it." Israel has already warned those on board not to undertake the journey and last night Aviv Shiron, order procardia spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry, order procardia said the voyage was a "provocation" and that "all options" were under consideration to prevent the boats reaching Gaza. Order procardia An Israeli admiral has issued an apparent warning to all shipping to stay clear of waters near Gaza because of an unspecified "security situation." It appears most likely that there will be a standoff with the Israeli navy later today, order procardia and that the activists will be arrested rather than being allowed into Gaza. Order procardia Although Israel withdrew its soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005, order procardia it still controls Gaza's air space and sea space, order procardia as well as nearly all the border crossings. Order procardia Until a recent ceasefire with Hamas the Israeli military was mounting regular incursions into the strip, order procardia saying it wanted to stop rocket fire into southern Israel. Order procardia It has imposed a tight economic blockade of Gaza, order procardia saying it wants to weaken Hamas, order procardia the Islamist group which won Palestinian elections more than two years ago. In a statement issued as they departed yesterday, order procardia the activists said they would lodge a legal protest against any attempt by the Israelis to arrest them. Order procardia "If Israel chooses to forcibly stop and search our ships, order procardia we will not forcibly resist, order procardia" they said. Order procardia "If we are arrested and brought to Israel, order procardia we will protest and prosecute our kidnapping in the appropriate forums ... Order procardia It is our purpose to show the power that ordinary citizens have when they organise to stand against injustice." http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/23/israelandthepalestinians.middleeast/print