Foreign ministry estimates ship wont leave for Gaza, and if it does it will dock at the Egyptian port el-Arish, not in Gaza.
Published 23:42 09.07.10
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resolved with Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and Moldovan Foreign Minister Lurie Leanca that a Libyan Gaza-bound aid ship would not leave toward Israel, Foreign Ministry officials said Saturday.
According to the foreign ministry, the talks held with the foreign ministers over the past few days yielded an agreement that they would attempt to stop the ship.
The ministry officials added that they believed the ship will not set sail from Greece and added that if the ship eventually did set sail, it would dock at Egyptian port el-Arish rather than the Gaza strip as planned.
The son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi organized a humanitarian aid boat to sail from Greece to the Gaza, reports said Friday.
The Gadhafi International Charity and Development Association, headed by Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi, expected its Hope cargo ship to set out later Friday, organizers told AFP. Later reports suggested, however, that the ship would not set sail until Saturday at the earliest.
Israel launched a diplomatic move at the United Nations on Friday in efforts to enlist the international community to help prevent a Libyan aid ship from sailing to Gaza, in violation of Israel's naval blockade.
In an official letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev wrote that "Israel calls upon the international community to exert its influence on the government of Libya to demonstrate responsibility and prevent the ship from departing to the Gaza Strip."
Shalev's letter to Ban went on to clarify that "Israel reserves the right under international law to prevent this ship from violating the existing naval blockade on the Gaza Strip."
Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza in 2007 following a bloody Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. Israel recently eased the terms of the land blockade on the territory, following a deadly raid of a Turkish aid ship, but the naval blockade has so far remained in place.
In the letter, Shalev further urged the international community "to discourage their nationals from taking part in such action," adding that Israel "expects the international community to ensure that this ship does not sail."
"The declared intentions of this mission are even more questionable and provocative given the recent measures taken by Israel to ensure the increase of humanitarian aid flowing into the Gaza Strip," the letter went on to say, adding that Israel has taken upon itself the responsibility of ensuring the transfer of humanitarian aid into the Palestinian territory.
Copies of the letter were also submitted to the current president of the UN Security Council as well as the president of the General Assembly, a Libyan national who previously served as Libya's foreign minister.
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