• May 24, 2010

Sources: Egypt might impede Freedom Flotilla

Sources: Egypt might impede Freedom Flotilla

CAIRO, — Egyptian diplomatic sources said that consultations were ongoing in the Egyptian foreign ministry on the Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza.

The sources told the PIC on Sunday that Cairo did not yet adopt a stance on allowing or disallowing the flotilla to enter Gaza via Egyptian territorial waters if Israel blocked it from the open sea.

They said that Cairo might not allow entry of those vessels at the pretext that no prior coordination was made with the Egyptian authorities.

Two Egyptian MPs, from the Muslim brotherhood bloc, are participating in the flotilla.

One of them Mohammed Al-Beltaji said in a statement on Sunday that Arabs and Egyptians should not stay arms folded while Europeans are arriving from distant places to join the flotilla.

Meanwhile, the PA government in Gaza prevented Palestinian fishermen from fishing in Egyptian territorial waters out of concern for their lives.

A PA official said that the marine police detained five Palestinian fishing boats while attempting to enter Egyptian territorial waters, warning that the Egyptian coast guards were on the alert.

The official, who preferred to remain anonymous, recalled that an Egyptian coastguard boat earlier this month deliberately rammed into a small Palestinian fishing boat and killed its owner, adding that the ban would remain in effect until mid June.