a1 University of Sheffield.
On 3 January 2009 Israel deployed a naval blockade against Gaza in order to prevent materials entering or leaving Gaza that could be used by Hamas in its ongoing armed conflict with Israel. With the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsening, on 31 May 2010 a flotilla of vessels carrying humanitarian aid expressed its intention to violate the naval blockade and deliver the aid to Gaza. Before violating the blockade and whilst still on the high seas, Israel sought to enforce its blockade and capture the vessels. This occurred largely without incident except in relation to the Mavi Marmara (a vessel sailing under the flag of the Comoros), which resisted capture by the Israeli special forces and continued to sail in the direction of Gaza. As Israel special forces boarded the Mavi violence ensued, with nine crew members of the Mavi being killed and dozens of others injured (principally Turkish nationals). Several members of Israel's special forces were also injured. Israel eventually assumed control of the ship and the crew members were detained and the vessel and its cargo confiscated.