Libyan aid ship
The aid ship commissioned by a Libyan state charity prepares to set sail to Gaza on July 9, 2010. Photo by AP
Text size

Libyan authorities are trying to prevent the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi from sailing aboard a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid vessel, the London-based Arab-language daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Monday, according to Army Radio.

The report said authorities are trying to block Saif al-Islam Gadhafi from participating in the effort to break the naval blockade on Gaza out of fear Israel will forcefully prevent the ship from docking in Gaza.

The vessel, called the Al-Amal, which set sail from the Lavrio port in Greece, docked in Crete on Sunday. Gadhafi's son, who heads the organization that initiated the sail, is interested in joining the ship, according to media reports.

The ship is expected to dock at the Egyptian port of El-Arish and not try to break the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza, senior diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said Sunday.

The developments follow intensive Israeli efforts in recent days. Nonetheless, Al Jazeera television reported Sunday night that the ship had not changed course and was expected to dock in the Gaza Strip within the next day or two. The ship's captain also denied any plan to proceed to El-Arish.

In its diplomatic efforts, Israel approached several countries with the ability to stop the ship or influence its course; Jerusalem also sent messages to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi and his son through a third party.

Al Jazeera reported that the ship remained headed for Gaza, despite reports from Israel to the contrary. As far as is known, the ship has a crew of 12 in addition to 15 activists and cargo consisting of 2,000 tons of humanitarian supplies.