Report: Israel Tracking Aid Ship Headed From Asia to Gaza

Israel is reportedly tracking an Asian aid ship docked in Syria and has announced plans to sail to the Gaza Strip to break the sea blockade over the Palestinian territory.

The Jerusalem Post, citing press reports, said the Asia 1 ship, which is carrying roughly 160 activists, is awaiting approval from the Egyptian government to sail to the port of El Arish en route to Gaza. The ship is reportedly carrying $1 million worth of supplies, including a sizable medical donation from the Iranian Red Crescent.

The group met last week with Hamas' Damascus-based leader Khaled Mashal, and was informed that the Palestinians were "fighting for a real state without any occupation and with Jerusalem as its capital," the Post reports.

The ship is the first vessel to set sail from Asia bound for the Gaza Strip, the newspaper reports. Among its passengers are citizens believed to be from India, Jordan, Iran, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, Bahrain, Malaysia, Japan and Bangladesh.

Israel has indicated that it will not allow ships to sail into the Gaza Strip, but will board and tow them to the Ashdod Port, where their cargo will be allowed into Gaza if inspected, the newspaper reports.

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