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Iranian newspaper Tehran Times reported today that an Iranian ship carrying 3000 tons of humanitarian assistance will depart for Gaza this week

The paper was quoting the director of the Iranian Red Crescent Volunteers Community who reportedly made the announcement on Friday.

“The ship will be carrying 3000 tons of food, clothing, and medical supplies, and 20 people will be on board. The ship will set sail for Gaza by the end of the week,” Mashallah Portolouei said in a press briefing in Mashhad.

“So far, 150,000 people have voluntarily registered to head to Gaza,” he added.

The volunteers are not connected to any political group. Like other activists around the world they are seeking to help Gazans.

News about the Iranian aid ships to Gaza have been shrouded in mystery. Based on Iran’s

reports last week about the sailings the ships should have arrived in Gaza by now.

Lebanese aid ship

A group of Lebanese women activists also said earlier this week they would set sail for Gaza with an aid ship loaded with medical supplies. The women insisted, however, that they were not affiliated to any political organization, and said the ship would carry 30 Lebanese activists as well as 20 foreigners including several Europeans.

Lebanese pop star May Hariri announced Friday that she will be a participant in the all-women p Gaza-bound aid ship “Mariam”, and that she has started preparing for the trip.

Hezbollah denies involvement

Hezbollah praised all initiatives aiming to lift Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip but stressed in a statement issued on Friday that the party will not take part in any Gaza-bound aid missions.

“We do not want Israel to use the party’s participation as an excuse to attack the boats,” The statement said

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