Libyan ship enters Egyptian waters
The Gaza-bound Libyan aid ship Amalthea entered the territorial waters of Egypt Wednesday evening according to Egyptian television, and the organizers of the vessel confirmed that it was now sailing into the Egyptian port of el-Arish.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh had urged the Amalthea to continue sailing for Gaza earlier today, and called for more pro-Palestinian “freedom flotillas.”
“The sea and land convoys must continue,” said Haniyeh. “We hope we can depend on Islamic nations to help us lift the blockade.”
Quartet Representative Tony Blair also weighed in on the Amalthea, calling on the ship to avoid sailing directly to Gaza and dock at a neighboring port. “The most important thing is to avoid confrontation,” said Blair.
The IDF on Wednesday confirmed that the Libyan ship had heeded Israel’s calls to cease from its course to Gaza, and planned to dock at the Egyptian port of el-Arish.
The confirmation came after conflicting reports, with the ship’s captain and Egyptian authorities saying the vessel would dock at el-Arish, while the ship’s organizers, the Gadhafi Foundation, insisted it would continue on to Gaza.
In response to an international call to make more goods available for transfer to Gaza, Israel recently increased the amount of aid able to flow through to Gaza via its checkpoints.