Hamas: Turkey to send aid boat to Gaza
www.chinaview.cn 2008-11-30 21:42:51   Print

    GAZA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Turkey will send an aid ship to the Gaza Strip as the Palestinians expect a similar Libyan boat to dock in Gaza harbor, deposed Hamas government said Sunday.

    "The Turkish ship will be carrying pro-Palestinian campaigners and medicine," said a Hamas press release. "The new voyage comes as part of the revolution of ships that try to overcome (Israeli) siege on the Gaza Strip."

    The statement did not reveal the time of the Turkish voyage, but it said the Libyan boat which carries 3,000 tons of aid is expected to enter Gaza territorial waters on Monday if Israel did not intercept the journey.

    The attempts to break Gaza siege were first succeeded in August when the U.S.-based private Free Gaza Movement ferried international peace and human rights activists to Gaza.

    In October and November, another two boats arrived here with international activists and European lawmakers.

    Israel first threatened to prevent the ships from getting to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip but retreated the threats in order not to give the campaigners the publicity they sought if they were denied entry, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

    However, Israel is considering preventing the Libyan boat since it is the first Arab boat which is much larger than the small yachts of Free Gaza Movement. The ship set sail from a Libyan port, unlike the previous voyages that were examined by Cyprus authorities.

    Israel sealed off the Gaza Strip last year after Islamic Hamas movement took control of the territory. In June, Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Hamas militants and Israel but the agreement went shaky shortly when the violence broke out between the two sides at the beginning of this month.

Editor: Jiang Yuxia
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