Egypt's Al Arish Port gets ready for the Libyan aid ship

Published July 13th, 2010 - 02:04 GMT
Aid ship
Aid ship

Egypt's Al Arish Port on Tuesday completed its preparations to receive the Libyan Amal ship coming from Greece and destined for the Gaza Strip. It is expected that due to Israel naval operations, the ship captain will decide to go to the Egyptian port to unload its cargo. From there cargo will be transferred to the Strip via the Rafah crossing, some 40 kilometers from the port.

The owner of the ship, a Greek businessman, stated earlier that the ship was on its way to the Gaza Strip and was scheduled to reach its destination on Wednesday morning. In press statements published on Tuesday, he rejected of the Israeli proposal to sail to the Israeli port of Ashdod, saying: "If this is the only option put forward by the Israeli authorities, we will choose to sail to the port of Al-Arish and transfer the aid via land to Gaza."

He added: "I tell the Israeli authorities that the ship is carrying humanitarian aid including food items such as flour, rice, baby milk, oil and medicine. There are no weapons or prohibited materials, as claimed by the Israeli authorities .. and if they want the Israeli navy can go on board and inspect these materials in order to assure themselves we carry only food and let us reach the port of Gaza. "

The Greek owner added that he would contact the Israel Navy to get a permit to enter Gaza without any acts of hostility or provocatio.

The ship is carrying 12 sailors of different nationalities in addition to 9 activists, including six Libyans. 

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