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Ship protesting Gaza blockage to sail from Lebanon in Jan.
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21:32, December 24, 2008

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A European-flagged ship carrying Lebanese activists, journalists and supplies is to sail from southern Lebanon to the besieged Gaza Strip early next year, Naharnet website reported Wednesday.

The ship carrying power generators and food will sail from southern Lebanon on Jan. 3 to Cyprus before heading to Gaza to defy the Israeli blockade, the organizers were quoted as saying.

It is the first time for a ship carrying people and goods to sail from Lebanon, which is technically at war with Israel.

Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah staged demonstrations and rallies in Lebanese last week to show support for the Palestinians in Gaza as Hezbollah deputy head Naim Kassem has called for armed resistance until the siege is removed.

Five different ships carrying activists and goods have run the blockade since last summer. The latest made the trip on Dec. 20 with a Qatari delegation, Lebanese activists and journalists from Israel, the report said.

Spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, said Israel will make no comment before the event, but will "react accordingly when it happens," according to the report.

Israel and Egypt have closed borders with Gaza in June 2007 following Hamas' violent takeover of the impoverished enclave fromsecurity forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Since November 2008, Israel tightened the siege of Gaza to pressure Hamas militants into stopping their rocket attacks on the Jewish state.

Source: Xinhua

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