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Arab League backs Libyan request to lift Gaza siege
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09:24, December 05, 2008

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The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) is fully supporting Libya's call for a UN Security Council meeting to discuss Israel's siege on the Palestinian territory of Gaza Strip, the pan-Arab body said on Thursday.

In a statement issued Thursday, the AL called on the UN to take necessary measures to end the Israeli siege on Gaza in order to send urgent humanitarian supplies into the Palestinian enclave.

After a Libyan aid boat was prevented a few days ago by Israel from continuing voyage to Gaza, Libya sent a request to call for holding a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the issue.

The Libyan vessel is likely to try to enter Gaza territorial waters again, Jamal al-Khodary, a Palestinian lawmaker who chairs a public committee against Gaza siege, said on Monday.

Israeli gunboats intercepted the Libyan boat, carrying 3,000 tons of medical supplies and food, on Monday morning off the Gaza coast, forcing it to leave for the nearby Egyptian coast city of al-Arish in northern Sinai.

The voyage was the first attempt to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza by an Arab state. In the previous months, European activists and lawmakers succeeded in docking their small boats at Gaza fishing port.

Israel sealed off the Gaza Strip last year after Islamic Hamas movement seized control of the territory. In June, Israel eased the sanctions due to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, but tightened the siege in early November following fresh violence.


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