Israeli cargo ship heads for L.A. to unload after Oakland protest

Reuters News
|
Posted: Sep 29, 2014 5:16 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An Israeli-owned container ship that was blocked from unloading its cargo at the Port of Oakland by pro-Palestinian protesters over the weekend was headed to Los Angeles on Monday, according to a ship-tracking website.

The Zim Shanghai left Oakland with its cargo still onboard on Sunday evening, according to the website marinetraffic.com. It was expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Some 200 people angry over Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas rocket salvoes staged a protest of the Zim Shanghai at the Port of Oakland on Saturday morning and again that afternoon.

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, saying they were threatened physically and their vehicles blocked as they tried to report to work, refused to unload the ship.

"The ILWU is not among the groups organizing the protests and the leadership and membership of the ILWU have taken no position on the Israel/Gaza conflict," the union said in a written statement.

Representatives for Zim International Shipping Lines could not be reached for comment on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Block the Boat, which has organized protests of Zim ships at the Port of Oakland in the past, said the organization was not responsible for this weekend's demonstration. It was carried out by a loose group of individuals, she said.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in 50 days of fighting in July and August, according to the Gaza health ministry. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were also killed.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)