• June 21, 2010

Palestinian int’l campaign asks Ki-moon, Security Souncil to protect Gaza ships

Palestinian int’l campaign asks Ki-moon, Security Souncil to protect Gaza ships

The Palestinian international campaign to break the siege called on UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council to work seriously on protecting the Gaza-bound aid ships and pressure Israel not to attack them.

In a press statement, the campaign stressed that the activists aboard these ships come on humanitarian missions and contribute to the efforts aimed to break the suffocating Israeli siege on Gaza.

The campaign reiterated the need for continuing the international efforts to conduct an independent international investigation into Israel’s deadly attack on the Freedom Flotilla convoy in order to punish the perpetrators.

It urged Ki-moon to necessarily pressure Israel further in order to take urgent and effective action to lift the blockade imposed on Gaza completely.

In a related context, Maariv newspaper said Sunday that the Israeli naval force and the intelligence apparatuses are on high alert in preparation to intercept the Lebanese aid ships heading to Gaza.

The newspaper added that the commando unit, that will attack the ships, was briefed on the operation called “winds of heaven” on Friday.

For its part, Haaretz newspaper said that Israel asked the Vatican to order dozens of nuns not to board the ship Mary, one of the two Lebanese ships, adding that the Israeli government made diplomatic efforts to pressure Lebanon not to allow its ships to sail for Gaza.

The newspaper claimed that because of these Israel pressures, the American administration, France, Spain, Germany and the UN sent strongly-worded letters to the Lebanese government demanding it to prevent the ships from heading to Gaza.
Meanwhile, Lebanon was preparing a memo to be tabled with the UN Security Council to retort to the Israeli claims, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper said on Sunday.

It quoted “reliable sources” as saying that Lebanon would reject the Israeli charges and threats that attempt to distract the world attention away from its oppressive siege of Gaza and to ease the growing international pressures to end that siege.