Wednesday, July 21, 2010

[wvns] Libyan ship sailing to Gaza

Libyan aid ship resumes sailing from Crete island to Gaza

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian lawmaker Jamal Al-Khudari and Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi said that the Libyan aid ship resumed sailing towards the Gaza Strip after its arrival at the Greek island of Crete in the Mediterranean sea.

The lawmakers, who are following up the movement of the ship, added in a press release on Sunday that the ship's arrival at the island was according to a plan set by the Gaddafi international charity and development Foundation.

Khudari noted that the ship is loaded with relief aid and medicines funded by the Gaddafi foundation in coordination with the popular campaign against the siege that provided lists of Gaza needs.

Earlier, spokesman for the Gaddafi foundation Mashallah Zwy told, by phone, the French press agency that the foundation members aboard the ship do not seek any confrontation or provocation in the event of their exposure to an Israeli military action.

In another incident, a group of Jordanian trade unionists said they would leave Amman for Gaza on Tuesday and would try to enter through the Rafah border crossing to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza people.

Head of the Jordanian engineers' union Wa'el Saqa stated that 150 volunteers would participate in the convoy that is composed of 30 trucks carrying humanitarian aid.

"We will try to break the unjust siege and we will go to Al-Arish in Egypt; we will insist on entering Gaza if the Egyptian authorities try to stop us," Saqa said.

For his part, head of the Jordanian syndicate council Ahmed Al-Armouti said that the Egyptian embassy in Amman ignored their request to meet with the ambassador in order to coordinate with him regarding the convoy.

The Egyptian authorities had prevented last month a group of Jordanian trade unionists from crossing into Gaza at the pretext that the group arrived without prior notice or coordination with Egypt.


Israel navy on alert over Libyan ship
Mon, 12 Jul 2010

A file photo shows four small boats carrying Israeli navy commandos as they speed into the military port of Ashdod in southern Israel.

Israeli navy is on high alert as a Libyan aid ship heads for the Gaza Strip to break Israel's naval blockade on the impoverished coastal sliver.

The navy is tracking the ship and has put forces on standby in case it needs to board the vessel, The Jerusalem Post cited Israeli defense ministry sources as saying.

The navy will make contact with the ship while it is still far from Gaza, likely in international waters, and ask it to follow naval vessels into Israeli port of Ashdod, the sources said.

They also noted that Israel has prepared plans to attack the vessel if it refuses or does not agree to sail to Egypt.

Tel Aviv says allowing the ship to go ahead with its mission will have serious consequences for "Israel's security," vowing to prevent any seaborne aid fleet from breaking its siege of Gaza.

The Moldovan-flagged cargo ship, the Amalthea, organized by the Tripoli-based Gaddafi International Charity and Development Association, has already set sail from the Greek port of Lavrio and plans to sail directly for Gaza with some 2,000 tons of rice, sugar and corn oil.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Army Radio on Sunday that "no ship of any kind will be allowed to arrive at Gaza," and that aid cargos for Gaza could instead go to the Egyptian port of al-Arish or Ashdod.

In addition to 15 volunteers — including 13 Libyans, one Nigerian and one Moroccan national — the ship has a crew of 12 from Cuba, Haiti, India and Syria.

The Israeli navy sparked global outrage late in May, after its commandos launched a deadly onslaught on a humanitarian aid convoy bound for the besieged Palestinian territory while it was in international waters.

Backed by the US, Israel has so far managed to escape from an international inquiry into the lethal attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which killed nine activists onboard the civilian convoy and injured some 50 others.



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