Libyan Aid Convoy Won't Dock in Gaza

Published: July 10th 2010
in News » Israel

Avigdor Lieberman
Pic: Wikipedia

The "Amalthia", the Moldavian-flagged ship which has set sail from Tripoli with the intend to dock in Gaza will instead dock in el-Arish, Egypt.    


The ship, sponsored by the Libya-based charity group, Gaddafi International Charity and Development Association, is due to depart from the Greek port of Lavrio, with about 2,000 tons of humanitarian, 12 crew members and 15 activists.  The charity group is headed by Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar Gadhafi's second born son.


The change was the result of talks between Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Greek and Moldavian counterparts, the report by the foreign ministry said on Saturday.


On Friday, Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, wrote in an official letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that "Israel calls upon the international community to exert its influence on the government of Libya to demonstrate responsibility and prevent the ship from departing to the Gaza Strip." 


Shalev further explained that "Israel reserves the right under international law to prevent this ship from violating the existing naval blockade on the Gaza Strip."  She went on to urge the international community "to discourage their nationals from taking part in such action," and that Israel "expects the international community to ensure that this ship does not sail."


The letter went on to say "The declared intentions of this mission are even more questionable and provocative given the recent measures taken by Israel to ensure the increase of humanitarian aid flowing into the Gaza Strip."


The blockade on Gaza was imposed by Israel in 2007 following a violent takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas.  Following the recent events with the Turkish flotillas, Israel has eased the terms of the land blockade and has allowed more aid and supplies to be transferred to Gaza but maintains the naval blockade. 

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