Israel stops activist vessel, detains passengers; Gaza teen dies from Israeli fire

The Israeli military said Saturday that it had intercepted an activist boat trying to breach a decade-old blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The Swedish-flagged sailboat had 12 passengers aboard, mostly from Sweden but also from Germany, Britain, Spain, France and Canada, Reuters reported.

The passengers were in custody and will be put on flights home, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Immigration Authority told the news agency.

The vessel, called the SY Freedom for Gaza, was carrying mainly medical supplies and two of its passengers were journalists, a representative of a group called Ship to Gaza, which organized the trip, told Reuters.

Israel said its naval blockade of Gaza is intended to prevent weapons from reaching militant groups, including Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Palestinian enclave, the news agency reported.

In a separate development, Gaza's Health Ministry said a 15-year-old Palestinian died Saturday of wounds suffered from Israeli fire at a border protest the day before.

Hamas has led months of border protests partially aimed at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after it took control of Gaza in 2007.