As a potential confrontation looms between Israel and the Libyan sponsors of a Gaza-bound aid ship, Israel's naval blockade of the impoverished coastal strip faces a new test.
A charity headed by Saif Qaddafi, the son of Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi, has organized a ship with a cargo of 2,000 tons food stuffs. Saif Qaddafi joins groups in Iran and Lebanon – all countries which Israel views as hostile – in declaring a desire to reach Gaza.
The international furor over Israel's killing of nine pro-Palestinian activists in late May weakened the Israeli siege on Gaza, but follow-up efforts have fizzled.
Key facts to keep in mind in the coming hours. 1. This aid ship carries only food. 2. Israel has intercepted this aid ship in international waters.