UNITED NATIONS, (AFP) –Israel has informed the United Nations that it will not let two ships planning to sail from Lebanon break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
In a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Israel’s UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said her country “reserves its right under international law to prevent these ships,” identified as Junia and Julia, from accessing the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave.
“The stated intention of these vessels is to violate the existing naval blockade of Gaza,” she wrote. “It cannot be ruled out that these vessels carry weapons or individuals with provocative and confrontational intentions.”
Shalev pointed out that “all goods that are not weapons or materiel for war-like purposes are now entering the Gaza Strip through appropriate mechanisms that ensure their delivery as well as their civilian nature.”
The letter was Israel’s latest warning against any effort to circumvent its blockade of Gaza despite international pressure in the wake of a May 31 Israeli commando raid that killed nine Turkish activists aboard a flotilla of aid ships on a blockade-busting bid.