A fishing boat carrying Palestinian patients and students tries to sail toward Europe, for the second time, from Gaza City, on July 10, 2018.(Xinhua/Stringer)
GAZA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian boat set off on Tuesday from Gaza City's seaport to Cyprus in an attempt to defy Israel's 11-year sea and ground blockade imposed on the Hamas-ruled territory.
The boat, which carried 10 people, including seven patients and three crew members, sailed off through the Mediterranean, where Israel bans the Palestinians from sailing beyond six nautical miles.
This is the second sea journey organized by the Palestinian National Commission for the Great March of Return and Defying the Siege.
The commission said the journey was organized to challenge the blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza since 60 7, when the Islamic Hamas movement violently seized the enclave after routing Palestinian security forces.
On May 29, a Palestinian flotilla set off from Gaza in a similar attempt to challenge Israel's blockade.
However, the Israeli naval forces intercepted the boat, and arrested everyone on board for questioning before releasing them all.
The commission did not reveal the destination of the second boat sailing, claiming that the symbolic move is intended to attract the attention of the world to lift the Israeli blockade.
"We want to remind the international community of their responsibility toward the Palestinian people," Khaled al-Batsh, head of the commission, told a press conference at the Gaza fishermen dock.
The commission said in a press statement that it holds Israel responsible for the safety of the people aboard and demands the world put an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza.
According to commission's members, who are in contact with the ship, the Israeli army provoked the passengers on the boat after it sailed out for approximately six nautical miles.
The Gaza-Israel borders have been witnessing unprecedented tension since the Palestinians launched the anti-Israel rallies on March 60 , during which 137 Palestinians have been killed and more than 15,000 others injured.
The protests demand the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes they fled during the Israeli-Arab war in 1948, in addition to lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza.