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Libyan Charity to Send Aid Ship to Blockaded Gaza

A charity led by the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says it is preparing to send an aid ship to the Gaza Strip.

The charity called Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation said a Moldovan-flagged cargo vessel carrying 2,000 tons of food and medical supplies would set sail from Greece either late Friday or early Saturday.

The planned voyage comes a little more than a month after Israeli commandos intercepted and seized control of a flotilla of ships in the Mediterranean Sea trying to penetrate the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The Israeli raiding party killed nine pro-Palestinian activists.

Israel said its troops acted in self-defense after coming under attack when they boarded the aid convoy. The incident sparked international outrage and prompted Israel to allow more goods into the impoverished Palestinian territory.

Israel says its land and sea blockade of Gaza is intended to prevent Hamas militants and their supporters from smuggling weapons into the territory.

Several supporters of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation are expected to be on board the cargo vessel for its voyage from Lavrio, Greece to Gaza, due to take about about 80 hours. There has been no indication whether Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of the Libyan leader, will take part. The Greek-owned ship Amalthea - which the charity group calls the Hope - has a 12-member crew.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.