Lieberman Thanks Top Egypt Official Over Libya-chartered Gaza Aid Ship

In a phone conversation with Omar Suleiman, Lieberman says Cairo's assistance aided in resolving situation without necessitating the use of force.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke to Egypt's intelligence chief on Thursday, thanking him for Cairo's cooperation in preventing the Libya-sponsored aid ship from breaking the Gaza blockade.

Speaking with the director General Intelligence Services, Minister Omar Suleiman, Lieberman said that the between the two countries led to positive results and that the situation was resolved without necessitating the use of force and without any injuries.

Libyan aid ship at port near Athens

Lieberman also updated Suleiman on Israel's new policy regarding Gaza, and the
two agreed to meet during Suleiman's next visit to Israel, when Lieberman
will present him with new information.

The phone conversation between the two top officials came as the London-based A-Sharq al-Awsat reported that a deal had been struck between Israeli and Egyptian officials, enabling the ship to change course and dock peacefully at an Egyptian port.

Israel had warned the ship not to attempt to enter Gaza waters and according to the report, struck a deal with Egypt to avoid violent incident. The Amalthea thus unloaded its cargo in El-Arish, from where the goods will be trucked via the Rafah crossing to Gaza.

It was not initially clear on what persuaded the ships' passengers, members of the Libyan Gadhafi International association – led by Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi - to agree not to sail to Gaza.

According to Thursday's report in A-Sharq al-Awsat, Israel has agreed to let Gadhafi's organization begin a project to rebuild the ruins in Gaza. His organization and the United Nations Works and Relief Association will soon begin to send some 50 million Egyptian pounds into the coastal territory to get the project rolling.

Gadhafi told the newspaper that the arrangement was reached between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Egyptian intelligence chief Omer Suleiman, and that he himself was privy to every detail of the deal.