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Explosion damages symbolic Gaza boat

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian activist says an explosion has damaged a boat preparing for a symbolic journey to Europe from the Gaza Strip.

Mahfouz Kabariti said an explosion ripped through the vessel docked in Gaza early Tuesday.

"You can sink a boat but you can't sink a movement," he said.

It was not immediately known who was behind the blast.

The vessel was being built to sail toward Europe to bring attention to Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade in 2007 when the militant Islamic group Hamas took over Gaza after street battles with the secular party Fatah of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel says the blockade is meant to stop Hamas militants from getting weapons. Activists say the measure amounts to collective punishment.

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