In January 2009, an Israeli warship approached an Iranian aid boat heading for the Mediterranean territory and told it to leave the area, 70kms from Gaza.


The ship went on to Egypt, which borders Gaza, but was refused permission to unload.

A Turkish flotilla of ships trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza was stopped by Israeli naval vessels on May 31 and nine activists on one of the ships were killed when the Israeli military boarded it and gunfire broke out.

Israel says its troops were attacked with knives, metal poles and other objects.