Earlier this month, Hamas ordered the delivery of sewage pipes from Malaysia.
The shipment came on a Malaysian-chartered ship that left Egypt's El Arish
and came within 300 meters of the coast of the Gaza Strip.
The Israel Navy fired warnings shots toward the Malaysian ship, and it
turned back. No injuries were reported.
The sources said Hamas was arranging with supporters in such countries
as Britain, Malaysia and Turkey to organize supply ships to
the Gaza Strip. In mid-June, a flotilla of ships was expected to try to
break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, imposed in 2007 when Hamas ousted
the Palestinian Authority.
The Israel Law Center, which works with the government, has threatened
insurers that they could be sued for facilitating ships to the Gaza Strip.
The leading martime insurer, Lloyd's of London, has already said it would
not insure ships destined for the Gaza Strip.
"Hamas is subject to UK and EU [European Union] terrorist financing
sanctions," Lloyd's said. "As such, any vessel identified as being owned or
controlled by that organisation would not be permitted to be insured by
Lloyd's, or any other EU insurer."
On May 28, Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip on a permanent
basis. Under the arrangement, the first since the Hamas takeover,
Palestinians would be allowed to cross into Egypt's Sinai Peninsula without
visas at the Rafah border terminal. The terminal, which does not include
European Union monitors, was scheduled to remain open seven days a week.
"This has been a tremendous boost to Hamas credibility, and now it will
try to break the sea blockade by Israel," the Palestinian source said.