A Turkish ship carrying more than 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip has reached the Israeli port of Ashdod. The vessel Lady Leyla set sail late on Friday from the Turkish city of Mersin. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said it docked in Ashdod after a 35-hour journey. In 2010, relations between Turkey and Israel imploded when an Israeli naval raid killed nine Turks on board an aid ship trying to breach Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The Lady Leyla has now been unloaded and the aid donations will be transported overland through Israel to Gaza. 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, the holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. A six-year political standoff between Turkey and Israel ended last week when the two countries agreed to normalise ties.