Libyan aid ship departs Misrata for Gaza

The International Campaign to Save Gaza on Friday announced the departure of a Libyan aid ship from the port of Misrata, bound for Gaza. The vessel sets sail with approximately 1,600 tons of essential relief supplies. These provisions, including medicines, tents, blankets, winter clothing, and foodstuffs, were generously contributed by civil society organisations across several cities in Libya. Over the past three months, these donations were collected as part of a concerted effort coordinated by the Libyan Humanitarian Relief Campaign, aimed at supporting Gaza.

The aid ship is expected to reach the Egyptian port of Al-Arish by Wednesday, 3rd April, where the cargo will be transferred to Gaza via the Rafah border crossing. Coordination between the Libyan Red Crescent and its Egyptian counterpart has been arranged to ensure the seamless unloading and transportation of the aid from Al-Arish to Rafah, onward to the Gaza Strip. Miles of Smiles, representing the International Campaign to Save Gaza and commissioned by the Libyan Relief Campaign, will oversee all necessary procedures with the Egyptian authorities in Cairo and Al-Arish to expedite the aid delivery.

Initiated by the International Campaign to Save Gaza, with support from the International Freedom Flotilla Coalition, the Libyan aid ship campaign commenced in late December. Local coordination was overseen by activists and representatives from civil society institutions and charitable organisations across Tripoli, Misrata, Zliten, Masalata, Al-Zawiya and beyond. The campaign received backing from the Municipality of Misrata and the newly formed Committee to Support the Palestinian Cause, established by the Libyan Supreme Council of State.

Dr Omar Baara, General Coordinator of the Libyan Relief Campaign to Support Gaza, emphasised the deep-rooted solidarity of the Libyan people, both within their institutions and across popular platforms, towards the Palestinian cause. He underscored their unwavering readiness to provide support to their brethren in Gaza, emphasising that the Libyan populace perceives the Palestinian struggle as their own, driven by a sense of religious and humanitarian duty. He stressed the enduring nature of the Libyan aid campaign, considering it a tangible manifestation of the fraternal ties binding Libya to Palestine, particularly to Gaza.

For his part, Zaher Birawi, Coordinator of the International Campaign to Save Gaza, expressed optimism regarding the expeditious delivery of aid to Gaza, highlighting its potential to bolster the steadfastness of the Gazan populace and provide them with essential necessities. He underscored the significance of these grassroots initiatives as integral facets of the collective responsibility owed to the people of Gaza, who sacrifice immensely in defence of their nation’s honour and sanctity. Birawi emphasised the profound global resonance of the Palestinian cause, noting the universal attachment of people worldwide to Palestine and Jerusalem. He saluted Gaza as an emblem of resilience in the face of adversities posed by the Zionist settlement agenda.

Furthermore, Birawi announced the imminent departure of another aid ship from Lebanon, a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Lebanese National Committee for the Aid Ship in conjunction with the Algerian Initiative for the Support of Palestine and Gaza Relief. He disclosed that preparations are underway to ensure the swift departure of this ship before the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan.

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