JERUSALEM – A Libyan aid boat carrying supplies for Gaza was sailing toward Egypt late Tuesday instead of trying to run a naval blockade of the Palestinian territory, Israeli military officials said, apparently defusing a potential confrontation on the high seas.

The latest challenge to the blockade came a day after Israel’s military admitted mistakes in the May 31 confrontation aboard a Turkish ship that left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead and brought a wave of world criticism that forced the Jewish state to ease restrictions imposed on the Hamas-ruled territory.

A spokesman for the Libyan mission told the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera television station that the boat still intended to try to reach the Palestinian territory but indicated those on board would not violently resist any efforts to stop them.

“First and foremost, we want to arrive to Gaza. If this is impossible, we don’t want to subject anyone to danger,” said Youssef Sawani, an official with the Gadhafi International Charity and Development Foundation who was in contact with the boat.

The Israeli officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made, said the ship’s captain informed the Israeli navy ships tailing him that he was heading for the Egyptian port of el-Arish.

Even so, they said Israeli naval vessels would continue to accompany the Libyan ship, because a last-minute course change could point the ship toward Gaza.