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Haniyeh: Reject Israeli rhetoric, break the siege

July 14, 2010 9:19 P.M. (Updated: July 16, 2010 9:34 A.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh urged a Libyan aid ship to proceed toward Gaza and called on other land and sea convoys to continue their work, calling the Israeli rhetoric on easing the siege "unacceptable."

Speaking Wednesday at the naming of the "Martyrs of the Freedom Flotilla Street," Haniyeh again praised the strength of the men and women aboard the six ships, particularly those on the Mavi Marmara, aboard which nine passengers were killed by Israeli commandos.

Hours after Haniyeh spoke, reports from Reuters said The Hope, a Libyan-sponsored ship currently at sea, would arrive at the Egyptian port of Al-Arish shortly after 8:30 p.m., with news coming from Israeli agencies that director of the Egyptian port Gamal Abdel Maqsoud said the Libyan boat radioed Wednesday evening asking permission to dock there.

Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said late in the evening that a deal had been struck with the ship, and its cargo would be unloaded and transferred to Gaza, Reuters reported.

The flotilla "made a move to break the siege on Gaza, we must continue; we are in the midst of a battle to break the siege and we must go on to end it. We will not accept an easing of the siege, or a lifting of the civilian element; we demand a total end to the political and human siege of Gaza," the Hamas leader said.

Haniyeh called on The Hope to continue the message of the Freedom Flotilla and proceed to its final destination.
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