Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Haniyeh to ship: Dock in Gaza
Dozens of Palestinians flock to beach in anticipation of aid vessel's arrival. Street in Jabalya named after Turkish flotilla raided by IDF commandos on May 31 to 'commemorate shahidim'
It remains unclear whether the Libyan aid ship al-Amal (Arabic word for hope) will eventually dock in Gaza or in Egypt's El-Arish Port, but dozens of Palestinians flocked to the Hamas-ruled territory's beach on Wednesday in anticipation of the vessel's arrival. In addition, several ships took part in a special flotilla in protest against the Israeli Naval blockade.
The dozens of members of the Popular Committee Against the Siege who arrived at the beach waved the Palestinian and Libyan flags and held posters bearing the images of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif Al-Islam, whose charity organized and sponsored the aid ship's journey.
Jamal al-Khudari, chairman of the Popular Committee Against the Siege and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said the ship is determined to unload the humanitarian supplies in Gaza.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on the Libyan aid ship to stay on course and dock in Gaza.
"Don't fall for any tricks and don't dock in any other port other than the one in Gaza. You are our sailing hope at sea," he said.
Speaking at a ceremony in Jabalya during which a street was named after the Turkish flotilla which was raided by Israeli commandos as it made its way to Gaza, Haniyeh said Israel's recent decision to ease its blockade was aimed at "bypassing our demand to lift the siege entirely."
The Hamas leader said naming a street after the Turkish flotilla conveyed a clear message that the Palestinians "are loyal to the shahidim (martyrs) who were killed at sea by cruelty and cynicism.
Nine Turkish nationals were killed in the May 31 raid on the Gaza-bound vessel.