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  • 1/14/2009

Israel stops Iranian aid ship off Gaza

iran ship

Israeli naval forces have stopped an Iranian ship carrying humanitarian supplies for the Palestinian people off the coast of Gaza.


The Iranian ship, holding an estimated 2,000 tons of medical and food supplies for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, was stopped 20 miles off the coast.


This is while a state's territorial sea extends only up to 12 nautical miles (22 km) from its baseline.

Iran's Red Crescent Society has said that negotiations are underway with the International Red Crescent to unload the supplies onto the coast of Gaza.


The ship will head toward Cairo in two days if negotiations fail.


Another 30 tons of humanitarian aid Iran has sent to Gaza via Cairo still remains in al-Areesh, only kilometers away from the impoverished strip.

On Tuesday, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official said that the Iranian ship had left the Egyptian port of Said with the paperwork required to dock.


"The Foreign Ministry has carried out requisite coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon" to ensure the safe passage of the ship to Gaza, Ghazanfar Rokn-Abadi told the 24-hour Arabic news channel Al-Alam.


Tel Aviv has been carrying out air and ground operations in Gaza since December 27. At least 975 Palestinians have been killed during the offensive, while more than 4,500 others have been wounded.

According to Tel Aviv, the current war on Gaza is aimed at ending rocket attacks against Israeli settlers, toppling Hamas and preventing the resistance group from rearming.

The democratically-elected ruler of the strip Hamas, however, has logical demands. It wants the cessation of the Israeli attacks and the opening of the Gaza border -- which has been closed due to the 18-month blockade imposed on the strip by Tel Aviv.

Other links:

Beirut protestors close pro-Israel store

Gaza under cloud of white phosphorous

Source: www.presstv.ir


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