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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mariam will not sail (yet?) to Gaza

And the Mariam ship is delayed yet again.
A ship carrying women activists and aid will no longer head to Gaza via Cyprus from Lebanon on Sunday, the organisers said, after Nicosia announced it would not allow the vessel to sail from its ports.

...

Cypriot police said on Friday the arrival and departure of ships to or from Gaza through Cyprus ports was prohibited, prompting the Lebanese transport minister to revoke permission for the ship to sail there, according to the organisers.

Ghazi Aridi told New TV on Friday the ship would not sail as long as Cypriot authorities have refused to receive it. He added Lebanon would not give permission for sail to an unknown party.

Spokeswoman for the Mariam, Rima Farah, said the trip was not cancelled indefinitely but that "it was stalled because we face a reality which imposes that".

Farah said there was not enough time between now and 10pm on Sunday (1900 GMT), when Mariam was supposed to set sail, to go through the process of finding another port to sail from.

Lebanon does not authorise ships to sail directly to Gaza because it is in a formal state of war with Israel, which controls Gaza waters.
In the meanwhile, if it is up to George Galloway there will be another Flotilla heading towards Hamastan,... er... Gaza.