Israel urges UN to halt Swedish Gaza ship
AFP/The Local · 18 Oct 2012, 07:01
Published: 18 Oct 2012 07:01 GMT+02:00
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"I call on the Secretary-General, the Security Council, and all responsible members of the international community to take immediate action to end this provocation," the envoy, Ron Prosor, said in a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, and the council's president for October, Guatemalan envoy Gert Rosenthal.
He added that the Gaza blockade was solely for security purposes, saying:
"There is not a single civilian good that cannot enter Gaza."
"I want to stress that Israel is not interested in confrontation, but remains determined to enforce its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip -- and will take all lawful actions to this end," Prosor wrote.
"Their clear provocation raises tensions and could easily spark a serious escalation of the conflict."
The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations said the rights activists aboard the Estelle should instead head for Syria to deliver goods much-needed to address the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.
He noted, however:
The Estelle, whose voyage was organized by an international pro-Palestinian
coalition, is carrying humanitarian goods to the Gaza Strip.
The 17 activists on board include passengers and crew from Canada, Israel, Norway, Sweden and the United States.
Israel says the blockade -- imposed in June 2006 -- is necessary to prevent weapons from entering the coastal territory, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas.