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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"The Maryam ship does not exist"

Asharq al-Awsat reports that the Lebanese Minister of Transportation says there is no ship named the "Maryam" registered in a port in Lebanon, although there is a ship called the Julia that is being renamed to the "Naji al-Ali."

The Maryam is supposed to be the ship that would take women towards Gaza, while the Naji al-Ali is the ship that was supposed to take "journalists." Both of them are really organized by Hezbollah with Iranian help, and the "journalists" were mostly members of Hezbollah as well.

The "Julia"  is docked at the Lebanese port of Tripoli. Yesterday, it sat in port with a couple of people performing repairs - no sign of activists and no sign of loading any aid. Lebanese army troops prevented people from getting closer.

According to a newspaper source, the Naji al Ali can only accommodate some 16 people, including 7 crew, not close to the 50 journalists that they claimed would be on board. The boat is registered in Bolivia.

Either way, it is certain that the boats' departures are not imminent, and that the organizers did not do all of the necessary groundwork for the voyages.

(UPDATE - I made a mistake in the original translation; I thought the Julia was the Maryam.)