(14 Jul 2010)
Gaza port, Gaza Strip – 14 July 2010
1. Wide of Gaza port
2. Boats next to pier
3. Man sitting on boat fishing
4. Various of boat carrying Palestinian protesters approaching pier
5. Protesters disembarking from boat
6. Various of protesters holding banner and photographs of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his son Seif al-Islam Gadhafi
Gaza City, Gaza Strip
7. Wide of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh walking to lectern
8. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Prime Minister:
“Do not accept anchoring on any beach except Gaza beach, and go ahead to achieve your target. Now we are finding that attempts have been made to stop the ship and open other routes (e.g. to Egypt) to divert the ship from Gaza.”
9. Cutaway of audience
10. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Prime Minister:
“The (aid) convoys that travel and still travel must continue because we are now facing a battle to break the blockade imposed on Gaza and this battle is related to the land of Palestine and Jerusalem and to the blockade of Jerusalem as well.”
11. Tracking shot of Haniyeh walking with officials
A Libyan chartered aid ship trying to break Israel’s Gaza blockade was steaming for an Egyptian port on Wednesday after changing course in the Mediterranean Sea, bringing an end to the latest challenge to Israel’s naval embargo of the seaside strip.
The director of the Egyptian port of el-Arish, Gamal Abdel Maqsoud, said the Libyan boat radioed on Wednesday evening asking permission to dock there.
He said the ship, the Moldovan-flagged Amalthea, was 15 miles (24 kilometres) off the Egyptian coast.
Egypt’s foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, told reporters that Cairo had agreed to let the Amalthea through and that as soon as the boat docked, its cargo would be unloaded and handed over to the Red Crescent to deliver to Gaza.
In recent days, with the Amalthea’s organisers insisting the ship would sail to Hamas-ruled Gaza and Israel saying it would not allow that to happen, the stage appeared set for another showdown on the high seas.
Framing the faceoff was Israel’s botched attempt to block a similar Gaza-bound aid ship in May, an incident that ended with the deaths of nine Turkish activists in a violent confrontation on board.
Israeli missile ships had been shadowing the Amalthea since Wednesday morning to ensure that it would not reach Gaza.
An Al-Jazeera reporter on board the aid boat said Israeli ships were arrayed in a “wall” meant to prevent the Amalthea from continuing toward the Palestinian territory.
Despite the Israeli insistence that it would not allow the ship through the blockade, Hamas officials in Gaza had been urging the Amalthea to press on.
Speaking at a ceremony naming a street after the nine pro-Palestinian activists killed on 31 May, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the territory’s Hamas government, called the Libyan ship “our moving hope in the Mediterranean Sea.”
“Do not accept anchoring on any beach except Gaza beach, and go ahead to achieve your target. Now we are finding that attempts have been made to stop the ship and open other routes (e.g. to Egypt) to divert the ship from Gaza,” Haniyeh said.
Conflicting messages on Tuesday had created confusion over whether the Amalthea intended to try to run the blockade or not.
A spokesman for the Libyan mission insisted the ship would try to reach the Palestinian territory, but said those aboard would not violently resist any efforts to stop them.
The Gadhafi foundation, headed by the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, said the Amalthea left Greece on Saturday carrying 2,000 tons of food and medical supplies.
The group refused.
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