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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Malaysian "blockade busting" ship still in limbo outside Egypt

Remember the "blockade busting" ship, the "Spirit of Rachel Corrie," that Israel intercepted earlier this week? It was supposed to go to El Arish in Egypt to offload its cargo, PVC pipes for Gaza's sewage systems.

But Egypt isn't letting it in!

An Egyptian navy gunboat has ordered aid ship MV Finch (Spirit of Rachel Corrie), which has been at anchor for three days, to leave the waiting area at El-Arish Port.

"They are preventing the ship from berthing," said Bernama journalist, Mohd Faizal Hassan, who is one of the 12 passengers and crew on board the MV Finch, in a SMS note to Bernama's headquarters here Thursday night.

According to Mohd Faizal, the MV Finch has been ordered not to come within a three nautical mile radius of the port.

He also reported that fresh rations and water supply were fast running out.

He said the ship was still waiting for permission from the port authority to berth.

"We do not know when the permission will be given," he said.

The ship carrying 7.5 kilometres of PVC pipes to help repair Gaza's devastated sewerage system had tried to break Israel's blockade of the strip but had to divert to El-Arish Port after it came under fire from Israeli naval forces.
There are practically no news stories about this. Certainly nothing blaming Egypt. I guess the world has "flotilla fatigue."

(h/t Mike)