'There is another way.' Barak
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Barak: Lebanon must stop Gaza flotilla

Defense minister says plan to send aid ships to Gaza 'unnecessary provocation,' warns Israel will stop them at sea if they refuse to dock in Ashdod

Israel has urged the Lebanese government to prevent the departure of a Gaza-bound ships from its territory.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday that according to recent reports, pro-Palestinian activists are planning to set sail from Lebanon to Gaza with the intent of breaking Israel's naval blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory.


"We wish to make it clear that this flotilla is an unnecessary provocation, just like the previous flotillas," he said.


The defense minister said Israel would be willing to transfer the ships' cargo to Gaza after inspecting it. "There is a way to transfer goods - not including weapons and ammunition - to Gaza through the Ashdod Port, just as we have done in the past.


"Should the flotilla refuse to be escorted to Ashdod by Israeli Navy vessels, we will have no choice but to block it at sea," Barak warned.


On Thursday night Israel's UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev accused organizers of the aid ships Junia and Julia of seeking "to incite a confrontation and raise tensions in our region."


פרסום ראשון: 07.23.10, 20:44
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