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Hamas slams Israel for preventing aid ships to Gaza
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08:54, December 08, 2008

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Islamic Hamas movement spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri slammed Israel for preventing an Israeli ship, loaded with food products and medicines, from arriving in Gaza on Sunday.

"Preventing the ships of aids from arriving to Gaza shows that the occupation authorities insist to keep Gaza under siege and isolate it from the rest of the world," said Abu Zuhri in a written statement sent to reporters.

Last week, Israel has prevented two aid ships sailing from Qatar and Libya to the Gaza Strip, which has been under a tight Israeli blockade.

Abu Zuhri called on Arab countries to do their best to end the Israeli tight blockade by pressuring on Egypt to open Rafah crossing on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

A Qatari ship, with one ton of medical aid, was prevented last week from arriving in Gaza. It sailed from the Mediterranean port city of Larnaca, but before reaching Gaza territorial water, Israel naval forces blocked it.

The Libyan voyage was the first attempt by an Arab state to defy Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip that dates back to June 2007.

In the past few months, European lawmakers and international activists succeeded to defy Israeli blockade and docked their small vessels in Gaza fishing port.

Israel imposed the blockade after Islamic Hamas movement seized control of security installations in the Gaza Strip last year.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, which took effect in June this year, became very shaky since the resumption of violence between the two sides last month.


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