Ship at heart of sea
Photo: AP
Ship's course
Photo: From

Report: Israel holding talks with Gaddafi's son

Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports Israel holding indirect talks with Gaddafi foundation in hopes of bringing Gaza-bound aid ship affair to peaceful end. Meanwhile, IDF says ship resumed movement in direction of El Arish Port in Egypt

Israel is holding indirect talks with the Gaddafi foundation behind the Libyan aid ship en route to Gaza, London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday. Meanwhile, AFP reported the ship's captain said its main engine was out of order and that the crew was working to repair it.


According to the report, Israel is in contact with the organization, headed by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, via Arab and western sources, in an attempt to bring the incident to a peaceful end.


It was also reported that Israel has expressed its willingness to deliver the aid to the Gaza Strip without having to take over the ship. A Libyan official said talks were being held through third party elements.


Meanwhile, the IDF said on Wednesday that the ship has resumed movement, apparently in the direction of El-Arish Port in Egypt, in accordance with Tuesday reports that the ship's captain announced it would dock there.


Nonetheless, the military stressed that it would continue to shadow the ship's course to ensure that it does not divert to Gaza.


The Prime Minister's office said it was being briefed on all developments in the matter.


The Navy said on Tuesday that it made contact with the ship's captain, who announced he would divert to El-Arish Port in Egypt. But members of Gaddafi's organization on board the al-Amal ship denied the Navy's report and said it would not change course, and would proceed to Gaza.


Youssef Sawani, one of the organization's members on board the ship, also noted problems with the ship's communication devices.


US State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley addressed the issue on Tuesday and urged all parties involved to act responsibly and avoid confrontation. "We have urged the Libyan government to avoid unnecessary confrontations. We call on all parties to act responsibly in meeting the needs of the people of Gaza," he said.


He reiterated the American stance on the delivery of aid to Gaza, saying, "We, along with our partners in the in the Quartet, urge all those wishing to deliver goods to do so through established channels so that cargo can be inspected by the government of Israel, and transferred via land crossings into Gaza."


Earlier, the Egyptians confirmed the Israeli report that the ship's captain announced he would proceed to El-Arish, and said the al-Amal received permission to dock in the Sinai port. The Israel Defense Forces continue to shadow the ship.


Hanan Greenberg and Roni Sofer contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 07.14.10, 09:19
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