Libyan ship expected to test Gaza blockade

Sunday, July 11, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

A Libyan cargo ship that departed from Greece on Sunday is now expected to test Israel's maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The ship was originally touted as an aid ship to Gaza. But Greek officials refused to let it leave port if it was going to try and run the Israeli blockade. Athens said it reached an agreement with the ship's owners whereby the vessel would sail to the Egyptian port of El-Arish and there unload its cargo for Gaza.

But the group behind the ship later announced that it would make for Gaza despite its agreement with the Greeks, and that the crew of the ship would not surrender to Israeli demands that it halt and change direction for the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Israeli officials are urging the UN to stop what they termed a reckless provocation before another incident like the May 31 interception of a violent Turkish-led flotilla is forced on the Israeli military.

The Libyan ship is expected to reach its destination, be it Gaza or Egypt, early Wednesday morning.

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