Turkish Ship Carrying Aid to Gaza Reaches Ashdod Port

ISTANBUL (AP) -
Containers are unloaded from the Panama-flagged Lady Leyla, a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, at the Ashdod port, in southern Israel July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Containers are unloaded from the Panama-flagged Lady Leyla, a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, at the Ashdod port, Sunday. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

A Turkish ship carrying over 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip has reached the Israeli port of Ashdod.

The vessel Lady Leyla set sail late Friday from the Turkish city Mersin. Sunday it docked in Ashdod after a 35-hour journey, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said.

The ship is carrying food, toys, clothes and shoes, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. The delivery comes before the start of Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam’s major holidays.

A six-year political fissure between Turkey and Israel ended last week when the two countries agreed to normalize ties. Relations had imploded in 2010 after an Israeli naval raid killed nine Turkish provocateurs on board an aid ship trying to breach Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

As part of the reconciliation deal, the Turks will be allowed to send in aid, but all goods from Turkey need to go through Ashdod port.