Israeli navy intercepts Gaza-bound ship

21:35, July 13, 2010      

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Israeli naval vessels on Tuesday intercepted a Gaza-bound ship carrying aid and ordered it not to continue sailing to the Hamas-controlled enclave, a Palestinian official said.

Jamal Al-Khoudary, head of the Gaza-based Popular Committee against Siege, told Xinhua that he has contacted activists aboard the Libyan chartered ship.

"The Israeli navy ordered them not to go to Gaza or the ship would be raided," Al-Khoudary said, adding he learnt from the activists that they were about 100 km off Gaza waters.

The pro-Palestinian campaigners insist to reach Gaza "and they won't go to any alternative port," according to Al-Khoudary.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel Radio reported that the Israeli navy communicated with the crew of the ship and asked them to go and unload its cargo in Egyptian port city of El-Arish.

Israel had also offered that the ship docks at an Israeli port and the Jewish state would let the shipments go to Gaza via road.

The ship, sponsored by a Libyan charity headed by the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, carries 2,000 tonnes of food and medical supplies, trying to challenge Israel's three-year-old blockade.

On May 31, the Israeli naval forces violently stopped a Gaza- bound flotilla, killing nine people and wounding dozens, and confiscated the ships and aid they carried.

Israel recently announced that it decided to ease the blockade following the increasing pressure on the Jewish state after its attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Source: Xinhua


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