The FINANCIAL — According to RIA Novosti, the Iranian Red Crescent will send two ships carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip at the end of the week, the Iranian news portal Press TV said on June 7.
Press TV quoted the head of the Iranian Red Crescent, Abdolrauf Adibzadeh, as saying the cargo consists of food and medical supplies that are due to be delivered to Gaza via Egypt.
The Rafah border checkpoint, the only crossing not linked to Israel, was opened by Egypt on June 1 for humanitarian aid deliveries and people in need of medical treatment. Israel is maintaining its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and intercepted an Irish aid ship on Saturday.
"Iran is also preparing to dispatch a navy hospital ship for the people of Gaza, which will have onboard doctors, nurses and all the medical equipment required for emergency surgeries and procedures," Iranian news portal cited Adibzadeh as saying.
Israeli commandos on May 31 stormed the six-ship Freedom Flotilla carrying some 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and up to 600 human rights activists to the Islamist-run Palestinian enclave.
Nine people were killed in the operation, which took place in neutral waters in the Mediterranean Sea. The boarding of the Irish ship on June 5 passed off without incident and its cargo was to be taken to Gaza overland from the Israeli port of Ashdod.