Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor on Monday called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to publicly condemn a flotilla that intends to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The convoy of boats, numbering at least two or three vessels is expected to reach the coast off Gaza later this week, if not intercepted.
“As these boats continue on their course towards Gaza, the need for your unequivocal condemnation of this provocation is as clear as ever,” Prosor urged Ban in a letter. “These kinds of actions are particularly troubling in light of the present turmoil in the Middle East.”
“The international community must send an unambiguous message to the organizers and participants of these provocations that such initiatives only serve to raise tensions in our region.”
“This attempt to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza holds the potential for dangerous consequences,” Prosor wrote. “The flotilla’s sole purpose is to create provocations that pose security risks, and constitute a breach of international law.”
Israel, he warned “is not interested in confrontation, but is firmly determined to enforce the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.”
The Marianne of Gothenburg, a Scandinavian fishing boat, traveled from Sweden through the waters of Norway, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal before reaching Messina, Italy, last week. The boat was making its way to Crete, Greece, on Sunday, before attempting to breach the blockade and reach Gaza. Along the way it was to meet up with at least two other boats that make up the flotilla.
Prosor noted that the maritime blockade is in line with international law as declared by a UN Secretary-General panel of inquiry in 2010 that, he quoted, found “the naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
The ambassador pointed out that the same report also found the blockade was “designed as one way to prevent weapons reaching Gaza by sea and to prevent such attacks to be launched from land.”
Read more at Times of Israel.