An American ship carrying passengers and crew who planned to participate in a flotilla bound for Gaza was stopped and escorted back to port on Friday by Greek authorities just shortly after sailing.

“The Audacity of Hope” is the vessel that carried 40 passengers including 36 Americans and four crew members and was intercepted by the Greek Coast Guard just 10 minutes into the sea after leaving the port in Perama.

For a week Israel has expressed its strong opposition to the attempt and vowed to do everything necessary to keep the international flotilla from arriving at Gaza. This is despite that the ships participating are likely not carrying weapons. Israel has implemented a maritime blockade and told the organizers of the flotilla not to provoke the navy.

Earlier this week, Israel has issued a warning to foreign journalists who will sail with the flotilla that it they could face possible ban in Israel of up to 10 years and their equipment confiscated. The warning came from Israel’s Government Press Office where in a statement described the undertaking as “a dangerous provocation” and accused Islamic as well as Western extremists of using it to aid Hamas.

A top Israeli Navy commander told reporters that the primary objective of the flotilla is to provoke a clash with IDF soldiers, thus creating a media frenzy that aims to damage Israel. Adm. Eliezer Marom referred to it as the “provocation flotilla” and urged various parties involved to do everything possible to prevent the ships from departing in their respective ports.

On Friday, the Greek government announced that it will not allow any of the nine boats in the flotilla to leave for Gaza stating that their mission could be too dangerous. Organizers of the flotilla have accused the Greek government of bowing to Israeli demands.

The Turkish organization IHH has stated it will not have its ship – the Mavi Marmara –  participate in the latest convoy. In May last year, nine Turkish activists were killed when the IDF intercepted a six-ship flotilla in international waters while it was on its way to Gaza.

Just recently, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has announced that a much-delayed UN panel to investigate last year’s Israeli attack on the Turkish convoy has finally been organized and is due to submit a report this month.

Last year, Ban organized a panel that included former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and representatives from both the Turkish and Israeli sides.

Israeli commandos claimed that they were attacked by the activists using knives, clubs, and metal bars. These allegations were strongly denied by the convoy organizers. The incident has further strained the already edgy ties between Israel and Turkey.