Σάββατο, 19 Ιουνίου 2010

Lebanese aid flotilla Virgin Mary set to sail for Gaza


A senior Israeli military official has warned the Beirut government against allowing an aid ship to depart Lebanon for the besieged Gaza Strip. "I say clearly to the government of Lebanon: You are responsible for the sea vessels leaving your ports with a clear and known intention of trying to break the naval blockade on Gaza,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday. The warning came days after a group of female Lebanese activists announced a plan to send an aid ship loaded with medical supplies to Gaza. Israel said that its navy would not allow the boat to reach Gaza. “The Lebanese government has responsibility for such vessels leaving its ports ... as their cargo that could result later in a violent and dangerous clash if the ship refuses to come to Ashdod (port)," Barak said. 

The organizers of the aid convoy say 50 Lebanese and foreign activists would be aboard the ship. “We are all independent women who believe in breaking the siege on Gaza,” said Samar Hajj, who is coordinating the trip. Israeli forces on May 31 attacked the multinational Freedom Flotilla relief mission, which had set sail to break Tel Aviv's siege of the Gaza Strip. The assault in international waters left at least 20 human rights campaigners dead and over 40 other injured. 
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Iranian flotilla leaving for Gaza

Two Iranian cargoes of humanitarian aid for Gaza will leave next week and one of them will be shipped through Istanbul, the official Iranian news agency, IRNA reported Monday. The announcement quoted Mohammad Ali Nouraee, an aid official, who said one cargo will be sent to Turkey, and then shipped to Gaza from Istanbul while the other will leave from the port of Khorramshahr.

Israel fears Lebanese ‘fast’ flotilla

While the IDF continued Wednesday to track the Iranian ships en route to the Gaza Strip, the Navy was put on high alert amid fears that another flotilla would be launched from Lebanon, leaving – due to the short distance – little time to stop it.
A cargo ship left Iran earlier this week and is expected to try and break the Israeli-imposed siege on Gaza as early as the weekend.

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