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Gaza aid ship unloads at Egyptian port

By the CNN Wire Staff
Workers load supplies on to a cargo ship at the Lavrio port, southeast of Athens, Greece, on Friday.
Workers load supplies on to a cargo ship at the Lavrio port, southeast of Athens, Greece, on Friday.
  • NEW: A Libyan-backed ship carrying aid for Gaza unloads at the Egyptian port of Al Arish
  • The ship's captain is awaiting final approval to unload aid
  • The ship attempted to break an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, but was diverted
  • Israeli soldiers killed nine activists aboard another aid ship in May

(CNN) -- A Libyan-backed ship carrying humanitarian goods for Gaza docked Thursday at Al Arish in northern Egypt and unloaded tons of aid from the Gadhafi Foundation, a charity headed by the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The vessel reached Egypt after sailing from Greece on Saturday with 2,000 tons of aid. It was the latest ship attempting to breach an Israeli naval blockade of the Palestinian territory of Gaza whose captain was persuaded to dock elsewhere instead.

The aid includes food, medicine, and construction materials to be taken from the port to the Gaza border about 25 miles (42 km) away.

Israel said it must inspect all goods prior to their entering Gaza to ensure that weapons do not get into the hands of militants. Gaza is run by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Video: Aid ship to Gaza to dock in Egypt
  • Libya
  • Israel
  • Gaza

The Gadhafi Foundation refers to the ship as the Hope, although it appears to be registered as the MV Amalthea. It is Moldovan-flagged and run by ACA Shipping, based in Greece.

Israel came under fierce international criticism after Israeli navy commandos boarded a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship in May and nine people died. Israel said the activists on that ship attacked its troops when they boarded the boat.

The Israeli assault on the Turkish ship reverberated internationally and highlighted the Gaza blockade.

Israel has resisted demands for an international inquiry into the incident, but an Israeli military investigation into the boarding of the Mavi Marmara criticized some aspects of the operation.

From CNN's Ben Wedeman