Libyan humanitarian ship turned away by Israeli forces most likely to return to Libya

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A Libyan ship on its way to Gaza with 3,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid was Monday turned back by the Israeli navy. The ship, carrying relief materials for inhabitants of the impoverished Mediterranean strip of land is the biggest attempt to supply Palestinians with materials since Israel instituted an economic blockade on Gaza over one year ago. According to reports, the Al Marwa vessel was approaching the Gaza coastline when an Israeli navy vessel intercepted it and ordered the Libyan ship to turn around. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a statement that no force was used in the maritime incident. Arab nations and international rights groups have called on Israel to end the economic blockade of Gaza that has left the 2.2 million Palestinians in dire need of aid. It is not clear whether the Libyan vessel will return to the North African nation; if unable to unload its cargo, it is most likely to return to Libya, a senior Libyan official said.

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