The "Mariam" delayed its departure on Aug 21, 2010, after Cyprus refused to allow the ship to sail through its waters or to use its ports. It was to have left the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli on Aug 22 bound for Cyprus, the first leg of the trip. Organizers said that they had been negotiating with Turkey and Greece for the use of ports and waters and that they could reach a deal by aug 23. Cyprus’s refusal came after Israel said it would use force against the vessel.
Organisers of a Lebanese women-only aid ship which plans to break the Gaza blockade announced on Aug 19, 2010,they will sail to Cyprus on the first leg of their journey on Aug 22, 2010, at 10 p.m. from the port of Tripoli. The "Mariam", a Bolivian-flagged cargo ship originally named the "Junia Star", plans to carry aid to Gaza in a bid to break the four-year siege of Gaza with 50 Lebanese and foreign women activists on board, including a local pop star. The "Mariam", renamed in honour of the Virgin Mary, would need Cypriot authorisation to depart for Gaza from its shores but officials in Cyprus have said the island was keeping in place a ban on ships departing for Gaza.Upload News