A day after an announcement on a delay in the Iranian flotilla to Gaza, a new date for departure has been set. Iranian Red Crescent Spokesman Abdul Rauf Adibzadeh announced Tuesday that the group's aid ship will set sail on Sunday, the ISNA news agency reported.
According to the group, the vessel, named "The Children of Gaza Ship," will be carrying 1,100 tons of equipment including 500 tons of medicine and food supplies. Adibzadeh estimated that the ship will arrive in the Gaza Strip within a fortnight. "The ship belongs to a private company. It carries 10 people: Five reporters and five Red Crescent aid staffers," he said.
The ship will leave the Bandar Abbas port in south Iran and will sail via the Persian Gulf, the Port of Aden and the Red Sea – where it will enter the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea and reach the Gaza Port. According to a Kuwaiti newspaper report, Egypt has refused Israel's request to stop the vessel in the Suez Canal.
Referring to the possibility that Israel's Navy will intercept the ship the spokesman said, "We have undergone great hardships in sending aid all over the world and have used special channels to send the aid to Gaza."
Adibzadeh noted that the ship's cargo contains dolls and clothing donated by Iranian children to the children of Gaza. He stressed that the shipment contains only equipment donated by Iranian citizens and no governmental or international supplies.
"The aid to the people of Gaza will continue to be sent. This is a way of breaking the siege on the innocent people of Gaza and terminating it."