A ship of activists carrying aid for Gaza from Lebanon will not go via Cyprus. Nicosia said it would not let the ship leave for Gaza from its ports. This delayed the ship the Mariam’s departure from the Lebanese port of Tripoli.
One of the passengers said: “We got the Lebanese authorities’ permission to leave but no port will accept us because I think the Zionists control huge areas of the Mediterranean.”
Lebanon does not authorise ships to sail directly to Gaza because it is in a formal state of war with Israel, which controls Gaza waters.
Nine pro-Palestinian Turks died in May, when Israeli commandos boarded aid vessels heading for Gaza and met stiff resistance.
Israel has warned that it will not allow ships to reach Gaza, controlled by the militant Palestinian group Hamas since 2007.
Cyprus was used as a launch pad for activists to reach Gaza by sea from 2008 until mid-2009.