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Libyan aid to reach Gaza by land, not sea

July 15, 2010 at 10:52 AM   |   Comments

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GAZA, July 15 (UPI) -- An agreement reached between Israeli and Egyptian officials allowed a Libyan ship carrying aid to Gaza to change course and dock in Egypt, officials said.

Israel had warned the ship not to try to enter waters near Gaza and had wanted to strike a deal with Cairo to avoid any violent incident similar to one involving a flotilla of aid ships in which nine Turks died during a confrontation with Israeli commandos who boarded the lead ship, Haaretz reported Thursday.

The Amalthea -- sent by the Libyan Gadhafi International association led by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi -- unloaded its cargo in El-Arish. The goods will be trucked to Gaza through the Rafah crossing, officials said.

Israel also agreed to let Gadhafi's organization begin a rebuilding project in Gaza, Haaretz said. The group and the U.N. Works and Relief Association Agency for Palestine Refugees soon will send $50 million into the territory.

"We will soon start funneling $50 million in coordination with (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) to begin rebuilding Gaza and transfer humanitarian aid and construction materials, without any objection on the part of the Israeli government," the younger Gadhafi said in an interview with Haaretz.

Gadhafi said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, worked with Gen. Omar Suleiman, Egypt's intelligence chief, Ynetnews.com reported.

"The Egyptians reached an agreement with the Israelis, and we received an official letter saying that they agree to start with the funneling of $50 million for Gaza's restoration," Gadhafi said. "There is an Egyptian-Israeli coordination on this matter, and the guarantee for this agreement is provided by Egypt."

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