Thu, January 15, 2009
World > Middle East > Israeli assault on Gaza

Israel halts Iran's aid ship off Gaza

2009-01-14 13:27:11 GMT2009-01-14 21:27:11 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TEHRAN, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Iran's aid ship to the Gaza Strip was stopped by Israel from reaching the impoverished enclave, Iran's satellite Press TV reported.

"Holding an estimated 2,000 tons of humanitarian medical and food supplies for Gaza, Iran's aid ship was stopped 20 miles off the coast," Press TV said.

"Iran's Red Crescent Society has said that negotiations are underway with the International Red Crescent to unload the supplies onto the coast of Gaza," said the report, adding that "The ship will head toward Cairo in two days if negotiations fail."

Iran said its another 30 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza via Cairo is still in al-Arish, some kilometers away from the Gaza Strip.

Tehran has uninterruptedly sought Egypt's assistance in opening the routes for Gazans to have access to the humanitarian aids from different parts of the world and accused Egyptians of lack of sympathy with the besieged people.

In the meantime, Iran has called for the Muslim world not to use Israeli products and to avoid trade with Israel.

"Purchase, import, re-import and promotion of any products whose profits will be given to Israeli occupiers directly or indirectly are forbidden and Muslims are not allowed to do so," Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei urged Muslims on Tuesday.

More than 930 people in the impoverished Gaza Strip have been killed and some 4,100 others wounded since the launch of the Israeli raid, which it said was aimed at revenging Hamas rocket and mortar attacks.

Radical Hamas movement enjoys strong backing from Iran which does not recognize Israel as a state of the international community.

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