July 24, 2010

Israel threatens to target "Mary and Julia"

Julia in the port of Tripoli before sailing for Cyprus (Al Jazeera)
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Plumor said that international law allows Israel to attack the Lebanese aid ships that are being setup to be sent to Gaza, while the Israeli delegate to the United Nations threatened to take “all necessary means” to block the ships, “Mary” and “Julia.”

Plumor announced that his Government was making strenuous diplomatic efforts to prevent the arrival of ships to the Gaza Strip which has been under Israeli siege for the past four years.

In response to a question by Al-Jazeera correspondent on whether Israel may carry out a threat to sink the ships, Plumor said that international law allows Israel to attack the vessels.

He added “If they announced the ship would break the naval blockade, it is allowed to attack. I do not want to threaten anyone, and there is no need for violence, but whoever insists that his head hits the wall he shall not be surprised if afflicted with head pain”

Gabriela Shalev, the Israeli delegate to the United Nations, called on the Lebanese government and the international community to prevent the two ships from sailing into the Gaza Strip, and accused the organizers of the voyage of seeking to increase the tensions in the region.

Shalev said in a letter Thursday to Secretary General of the United Nations and the UN Security Council that Israel reserves the right to use “all necessary means” to prevent ships from violating the sea embargo it imposes on the Gaza Strip and called on the Lebanese government to “take responsibility” and prevent the vessels Mary and Julia from sailing, adding that “Lebanon and Israel are in a state of hostility,” and that such ban would prevent any escalation of the situation.

Julia has already sailed to Cyprus before heading to Gaza.

Israel had been under international pressure after the freedom flotilla massacre on May 31 in which at least nine activists were killed and dozens others were injured in international waters.


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