The first of two Iranian ships carrying aid left port on Sunday for the Gaza Strip, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. The ship is transporting construction material, food and toys for children. The second ship leaves port on Friday.The Iranian ship comes in response to outrage over the killings on the Gaza Freedom flotilla last May.
This is just one part of the reinvigorated campaign to break the blockade of Gaza by international groups, this move by Iran is seen as controversial given the existing tensions with Israel over Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran says it continues to express only its moral support to Hamas, despite Israeli claims of also supplying weapons to the group.
In the meantime, the family of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured in Gaza in 2006, has expressed their concern over a possible policy shift in regard to the blockade of Gaza, Haaretz reports.
In light of the outrage over the attacked aid ships heading to Gaza and talks with Middles East envoy Tony Blair, the Israeli government has agreed in principle to ease the blockade. Any lifting of the blockade will most likely by limited to an updated list of prohibited goods, which would be far shorter than the current one.
This has led to protests from the Shalit family, the family had in the past an agreement with cabinet ministers that any lifting of the blockade would come with the release of their son.