oPt

oPt: Qatari aid ship to arrive in Gaza by week end: official

GAZA, Dec 02, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- A Qatari ship, with one ton of medical aid, will arrive at Gaza Strip by the end of the week as it set sail from the Mediterranean port city of Larnaca, a Palestinian lawmaker said on Tuesday.

"The ship also carries representatives of relief agencies and journalists," added Jamal al-Khodary, director of the Gaza-based popular committee against the siege.

His announcement was made a day after Israel ordered a Libyan aid ship to leave Gaza territorial waters. The boat headed for the nearby Egyptian city of al-Arish with 3,000 tonnes of food and blankets on board.

The Libyan voyage was the first attempt by an Arab state to defy Israeli closure of Gaza Strip that dates back to June 2007. In the past few months, European lawmakers and international activists succeeded to defy Israeli blockade and docked their small vessels in Gaza fishing port.

Israel imposed the blockade after Islamic Hamas movement seized control of security installations in Gaza Strip. An Egyptian- brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, took effect in June 2008, became very shaky since last month.