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Iran says it sent one aid ship to blockaded Gaza on June 13, with another expected to leave on June 18, moves likely to further anger Israel after a flotilla of Turkish aid ships tried to break the blockade late last month.

A May 31 raid by Israeli troops on one of the aid ships left nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists dead sparking an international outcry.

An official at Iran's Society for the Defense of the Palestinian Nation reportedly said, "Until the end of the Gaza blockade, Iran will continue to ship aid."

Israel accuses Iran of militarily supporting Hamas, the Palestinian enclave's Islamist leaders, a charge Tehran denies.

There were conflicting reports about whether or not Iran would consider sending a military escort with the aid ships.
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