Israeli Ship Blocked By Port Of Oakland Protesters Departs, Returns Hours Later

An Israeli-owned ship that was blocked by protesters for days from unloading cargo at the Port of Oakland left port Tuesday afternoon but returned hours later.

Marine tracking services showed that the Zim Piraeus departed the port shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, reportedly en route to Los Angeles, but the vessel instead went several miles out to sea before making a U-turn and returning to Oakland, arriving around 6:30 p.m.

Protesters against Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip who have maintained a constant presence at the port since Saturday were sent quickly scrambling back there.

The protesters have compared the relationship between Israelis and the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip to the apartheid regime in South Africa, drawing inspiration from a 1984 action when dockworkers refused to unload ships moored in San Francisco carrying South African cargo.

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