israel Threatens New Lebanese Gaza Aid Flotilla - 18 June 2010 - English

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israel     gaza     flotilla     attack     humanitarian     aid     UN     Secretary     Lebanon     blockade     female     medical     supplies     Hezbollah          

As outrage and condemnation continues over Israel's deadly attack on a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, Tel Aviv once again threatens to halt any ship trying to break the Gaza blockade. In a letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev called for a halt to a new aid ship scheduled to set sail from Lebanon to break the siege of Gaza, warning that Tel Aviv would use "all necessary means" to stop the vessel. "Israel reserves its right under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the existing naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip," she said. The warning comes as a group of female Lebanese activists announced a plan to send an aid ship loaded with medical supplies to Gaza, which has been under siege since 2007. According to the organizers, 50 Lebanese and foreign activists would be aboard the aid ship. The new aid convoy planned the mission after Israeli commandos on May 31 stormed the Gaza Freedom Flotilla aid convoy, killing 20 civilian activists and injuring dozens of others. The Israeli envoy also claimed the aid ship was linked to the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah. Hezbollah, however, has denied having any links to the mission, saying it would not join the convoy as it did not want to give Israel an excuse to attack the Gaza campaigners. The warning comes as earlier on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Lebanon against allowing the aid ship to depart from Lebanon for Gaza.

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