Libyan aid shipment transferred to Gaza

08:21, July 19, 2010      

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A truck carrying aid materials from the Libyan aid ship which docked at an Egyptian port after Israeli navy intercepted it, crosses into Gaza through Rafah border crossing, southern Gaza Strip, July 18, 2010. (Xinhua/Khaled Omar)

The first batch of Libyan aid to Gaza was transferred to the besieged strip on Sunday via two crossings.

Osama El-Sergany, head of Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) in north Sinai, said 31 trucks laden with 450 tons of medicine and food aid left Egypt's coastal city of El-Arish carrying part of the aid shipment to the besieged enclave.

A truck loaded with medical aid arrived at the strip via Rafah Crossing at Egypt-Gaza borders, while 30 others carrying food aid arrived via Kerem Shalom crossing point between Israel and Gaza near the Egyptian border, 4.5 km south of Rafah.

Egyptian authorities are coordinating efforts with all parties concerned to take aid to Gaza in batches starting from Sunday, the senior official said.

The Gaza-bound Libyan aid ship docked in Egypt's El-Arish port around midday Thursday after it was prevented by Israel from sailing directly to the Gaza Strip.

The aid ship, funded by the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation -- an organization chaired by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, had left Tripoli last week to Greece and left Greece towards Gaza last Saturday.

Israel imposed a tight blockade on Gaza three years ago after the Hamas movement violently took over the territory, where some 1. 5 million Palestinians live.

On June 1, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered to open indefinitely the Rafah crossing to allow people and aid in and out of Gaza, to ease the humanitarian crisis of the enclave. Thousands of Palestinians and large mounts of aid goods have crossed the terminal since then.

Source: Xinhua

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