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Libya aid ship to continue to Gaza: organizers

07-12-2010 08:04 BJT

DOHA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Organizers of a Libyan-commissioned aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip said the boat will continue its voyage to the Palestinian enclave despite Israeli warnings that it will intercept the ship before reaching its intended destination, Al Jazeera TV reported on its website Sunday.

Carrying a large amount of food and medicine, the Moldova- flagged Al Amal -- Hope in Arabic -- funded by an organization chaired by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son set sail on Saturday from the Greek port of Lavrio to the Palestinian territory blockaded by Israel for over three years.

Yousseuf Sawani, a director of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying that there were no plans for the vessel to dock at the Egyptian port of el-Arish, dismissing Israeli reports that the vessel is actually heading to Egypt.

"This is definitely a part of the campaign against the ship, a campaign of distortion, but we are definitely heading towards Gaza, because this is where aid should be heading to," Sawani told the Doha-based network.

"This is purely humane mission, it is neither provocative nor hostile," he added.

Organizers said the ship is carrying a team of 15 volunteers, mostly Libyan, and a crew of 13, as well as 2,000 tons of rice, sugar, corn oil and olive paste.

On May 31, Israeli naval commandos rappelled from helicopters to the deck of Mavi Marmara ship, which headed a six-vessel flotilla on a similar mission.

Nine passengers were killed in the melee that broke out between reportedly armed passengers and soldiers, who had planned to take over the craft and tow it to Ashdod.

Israel imposed a tight blockade on Gaza over three years ago after the Hamas movement violently took over the territory, where some 1.5 million Palestinians are living.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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