An Israeli official says Israel's navy has turned back a boat trying to carry pro-Palestinian protesters to the embattled Gaza Strip.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says the boat ignored an Israeli radio order to turn back. Palmor says the boat tried to outmaneuver the navy ship and crashed into it, lightly damaging both vessels. The navy then escorted the boat to the territorial waters of Cyprus.
Protest boat organizer Derek Graham says the Israeli ship "rammed" the protest boat.
Protesters have sailed several small boats into Gaza from Cyprus since August in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade aimed at pressuring Gaza's Hamas rulers to halt militant rocket fire on Israel.
Gaza is currently in the throes of a massive Israeli offensive targeting Hamas militants.