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Israel Asks UN to Send Humanitarian Boat to Syria, not Gaza

Israel tells the UN to try to convince pro-Arab activists not to sail to Gaza. "Activists should sail to Syria," says Prosor.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/17/2012, 9:10 AM

Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor said the Estelle, which left Naples on Saturday, was expected to arrive
Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor said the Estelle, which left Naples on Saturday, was expected to arrive
AFP Photo

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor has asked the international organization to convince pro-Arab activists not to try to sail the “Estelle” boat to Gaza and try to break the maritime embargo on Hamas. Syria is need of the aid, he added.

The Swedish ship carrying activists is expected to reach Gaza by Saturday, but the IDF previously has stopped almost every attempt to break the blockade imposed to prevent terrorists and weapons from reaching Gaza.

Prosor pointed out the campaign to bring humanitarian goods to Gaza by sea is redundant because “there is not a single civilian good that cannot enter Gaza." He said there is a true humanitarian crisis in Syria, where the ship should be headed, AFP reported.

He noted, however, "They understand that it is much easier to face news cameras in Tel Aviv than bullets in Damascus."

"I call on the Secretary-General, the Security Council, and all responsible members of the international community to take immediate action to end this provocation," Prosor wrote to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to the council's president for October, Guatemalan envoy Gert Rosenthal.

"I want to stress that Israel is not interested in confrontation, but remains determined to enforce its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip -- and will take all lawful actions to this end," Prosor wrote.

"Their clear provocation raises tensions and could easily spark a serious escalation of the conflict."

There are 17 activists aboard the boat, including passengers from Canada, Israel, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

Two years ago, terror activists from the Turkish-based IHH organization clashed with Israeli Navy commandos who tried to stop their Mavi Mamara boat and five other ships from reaching Gaza.

Three dozen IHH passengers viciously clubbed the commandoes as they boarded the boat by rope from a hovering helicopter. Three of the commandos were temporarily kidnapped until the Navy soldiers were able to overcome the attackers, nine of whom were killed in the ensuing clash.