DUBLIN— Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Wednesday appealed to Israel to let a private Irish ship deliver its aid cargo to Gaza — but conceded that supplies of concrete on board pose a stumbling block for the Israelis.
The 1,200-ton ship Rachel Corrie is waiting off the Libyan coast and carries both medical equipment and concrete. Israeli officials say the vessel will be diverted to an Israeli port if it tries to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.
Cowen told lawmakers on Wednesday that Ireland had put in a formal request to Israel to let the ship "complete its journey unimpeded and discharge its humanitarian cargo in Gaza."
But he admitted that Israel does not consider cement a humanitarian product.