Humanitarian Ship to Gaza Still Stranded, Water Supply Running Out

In-depth Report:

EL-ARISH, May 22 (BERNAMA) — The humanitarian aid-bearing cargo ship, MV Finch, has been stranded for a week now outside El-Arish Port in Egyptian waters and those onboard will know tomorrow whether the cargo can be unloaded and transpoprted by land to Gaza.

Bernama reporter Faizal Hassan who is onboard the ship, informed the Malaysian national news agency’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur via SMS that the situation was getting critical as the port authorities had not sent medical aid and clean water to the ship.

“Our water supply will run out any time soon,” he lamented.

Faizal said the decision whether to allow MV Finch to enter and berth at El-Arish Port would depend on the meeting in Jakarta between Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and his Egyptian counterpart.

He said all the 12 passengers and crew members of the ship hoped the meeting would bring good news to enable the PVC pipes meant for the people of Gaza to be unloaded and sent there.

According to him, a number of lorries which were to transport the humanitarian aid to Gaza had been stranded at the port since Friday.

However, nothing could be done by the port authorities, the ship’s agent, Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) which organised the mission, or the Malaysian and Egyptian embassies if no decision was reached between the foreign ministers of both countries, he said.

Leader of the humanitarian mission, Matthias Chang, said usually a win-win situation could be reached through government-to-government discussion.

“If it fails, the NGOs, PGPF and other concerned parties can intervene to put pressure for a positive decision to be made,” he said.

Chang said a possibility was that the people onboard the ship could be sent back to their respective countries, while the cargo could be handed over to such organisations as the Red Crescent Society to be delivered to the people of Gaza.

Chang is still on a hunger strike which has entered the third day, in protest against the delay in granting permission for the ship to berth at El-Arish Port after week of waiting outside it.

Articles by: Global Research

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