A ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists protesting Israel's sea blockade of the Gaza Strip was boarded by Israeli naval commandos, who took command of the vessel.
According to a statement from Israel's military early Monday, the navy contacted the boat while it was in international waters and advised it several times to change course to avoid breaching the blockade.
The captain refused and Israel's navy boarded the Swedish-registered Marianne of Gothenburg to search it before escorting it to the port of Ashdod. According to the military, there was no need to use force.
In Ashdod the activists will probably be deported, as Israeli officials have warned.
The incident comes five years after the fatal interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla.
The new flotilla of four boats, organized by the Freedom Flotilla III, set to sea from Greece in recent days, carrying 47 passengers from 17 countries.
It also carried a message to Israel: Lift the blockade imposed on the Palestinian enclave after the militant movement Hamas wrested control of Gaza from the more moderate Palestinian Authority in 2007.
Efforts by international activists to break the blockade began the following year. Israel let the first one reach Gaza but subsequent efforts were intercepted by the Israeli navy.
In May 2010, 10 activists were killed when naval commandos intercepting the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara encountered resistance.