Libyan aid ship resumes travel after breakdown: report

19:39, July 14, 2010      

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A Libyan vessel carrying aid for Gazans has resumed travel as of noon Wednesday, after it stopped due to reported engine trouble overnight, an Israeli army spokesman told Xinhua.

The spokesperson could not confirm, however, whether the ship is headed for the nearby Egyptian port of el-Arish or is resuming its earlier announced heading towards the Gaza Strip.

"I cannot tell you how much time will it take. As soon as we are ready, I'll tell you, over," the captain is heard saying in English regarding repairs to the craft, according to a communication with Israeli naval craft in the vicinity, the website of Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported.

Meanwhile, Israeli army radio as well as the London-based newspaper Asharq Alawsat reported that the craft was turning to the Egyptian port of el-Arish after negotiations between Israeli authorities and the ship's organizers.

However, organizers said they still planned to reach the Palestinian enclave, despite latest reports to the contrary.

"First and foremost, we want to arrive to Gaza. If this is impossible, we don't want to subject anyone to danger," Youssef Sawani, an official with the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation who was in contact with the boat, told al- Jazeera television.

The Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson told Xinhua that the Navy had offered to escort the craft to the Israeli port of Ashdod, and offload its foodstuffs for overland transfer to Gaza via the Karni crossing point.

The Israeli Navy said that it continues to track the vessel's progress, in order to head off any last-minute turn towards the Gaza coast.

Source: Xinhua


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