The UN Spokesperson stated that the established path to transfer goods into the Gaza Strip by land, and not by sea, is the proper way of use.

Date: 25/07/2010, 4:09 PM     Author: Jonatan Urich

“There are established paths for the transfer of goods into the Gaza Strip by land. This is the proper way to transfer aid to the residents of Gaza.” These words were spoken by United Nations Spokesperson Martin Narisky, regarding an additional flotilla expected to arrive from Lebanon. Narisky continued, “We prefer that any additional aid will be sent via land, especially during this sensitive time following the recent proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians.”

The UN Spokesperson’s mention of this topic comes as a response to a letter from the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, in which she refers to the flotilla expected to arrive from Lebanon as people whose sole intention is to break the maritime blockade imposed on Gaza. In this letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Shalev wrote that “Israel maintains her right, based on international law, to use any means available in order to prevent the ships from striking the maritime blockade.”

“Furthermore,” Shalev added in her letter, “we cannot afford to deny the possibility that the ships are carrying weaponry or carrying passengers with provocational intentions seeking a confrontation.”

Minister of Defense: “This is an unnecessary provocation.”

On Friday (July 23) Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak spoke about the Lebanese flotilla, saying, “This is an unnecessary provocation like the previous flotillas and we view the Lebanese government as responsible for ensuring that this flotilla will not leave, and if it will, it will be escorted by the Israeli Navy to the Ashdod port.”

“There is a way to transfer goods, not including weapons, to the Gaza Strip, by way of the Ashdod port, just as it was done in the past,” Barak emphasized. “If it happens that the Lebanese flotilla does go out to sea regardless of this, and refuses to be escorted by the Israeli Navy to Ashdod, there will be no choice but to stop them at sea.”