Malaysia’s mission to Gaza expected to continue on land

EL-ARISH: The mission to send PVC pipes to Gaza is expected to continue by land following the Egyptian authorities’ decision to allow the MV Spirit of Rachel Corrie (formerly MV Finch) carrying humanitarian aid to berth and unload the cargo at El-Arish Port.

Bernama reporter Mohd Faizal Hassan sent a SMS text to the national news agency’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur: “It is understood that the Egyptian foreign minister has given permission (for the ship) to berth and unload the goods today…InsyaAllah (God willing), we will be on land.”

The Malaysian-owned ship had to wait outside El-Arish Port for a week, waiting for the Egyptian authorities to allow it to berth at the port. Now the ship’s engine has broken down.

On May 16, the cargo ship carrying 12 passengers and crew members, as well as two Malaysian reporters had to cancel its plan to enter Palestinian waters to deliver aid to Gaza when Israeli soldiers fired warning shots at the ship when it tried to run the blockade.

The ship is skippered by a Malaysian, Captain Abdul Jalil Mansor, who is assisted by four crew members, Malaysians Zainuddin Mohamad and Mohd Jaffery Ariffin and Indian nationals Sharma Chandan Shimla and Pal Satya Prakash.

Besides the Bernama reporter, onboard are New Straits Times reporter Iskandar Alang Zainuddin, volunteer Mohd Radzillah Abdullah from Felda, Derek Graham and Jenny Graham from Ireland, and Julie Levesque from Canada. – Bernama

(thestar.com.my / 24.05.2011)

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