06/25/2010, 00.00
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Iranian ship cancels departure for Gaza for fear of "Israeli threats"

The mission seemed difficult from the outset. Departure delayed until cancellation. The Israeli military radio reports that an Iranian ship is making its way to the Mediterranean Sea via the Caspian Sea.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The leaders of the Iranian ship carrying aid that wanted to force the blockade of Gaza have decided to cancel their mission because of "threats from Israel."

After the Israeli raid on Turkish flotilla of activists, which led to the death of nine people and wounded several soldiers on May 31, Iran had threatened to send a boat under the protection of the Red Crescent to force the land and sea blockade that Israel has imposed on the Strip since 2007.

From the beginning the idea seemed difficult and unlikely. The ship was to depart from Bandar Abbas on the 20th and cross the Suez Canal. Its departure was delayed until it was finally cancelled yesterday. Hossein Sheikholeslam, Iranian secretary general of the conference to support the Palestinian intifada said that the aid will be sent to Gaza by "other means".

According to Israeli army radio an Iranian ship is making its way into the Mediterranean via the Caspian Sea.

Israel accuses Iran of funding and arming Hamas guerrillas, the dominant power in Gaza, and claims the blockade is to prevent arms shipments. By doing so it also impedes all economic activity and supplies for the population. In recent weeks, because of international protests, Israel eased the blockade.  

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