Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Blockade Dilemma-Could it Spark another War?

*The Gaza Strip must not be allowed to turn into an Iranian port, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday.

Speaking at the hesder yeshiva in the northern town of Kiryat Shmona, the army chief said that Israel has a "natural right to carry inspections and prevent the flow of weapons to Gaza."

"If anyone is bothered by the situation in the Strip and wishes to transfer medical equipment to Gaza, he should go ahead and arrive at the Ashdod Port," Ashkenazi said. "We'll inspect him, and if needed we'll let him in."

"We must insist on this right; Gaza must not turn into an Iranian port," he said. "This is not just a matter of threatening the Gaza region. Missiles that can hit other areas may end up there too."  Both of these articles are from the Ynet news

  *Lebanon said on Tuesday it would hold Israel responsible for any attack, in response to Israeli warnings that it would use "all necessary force" to stop aid boats planning to sail to blockaded Gaza.

"Israel will be held fully responsible for any attack on Lebanon," the foreign ministry said in a letter to the United Nations.

Lebanon "cannot prohibit a ship from leaving its ports if its cargo, passengers and destination all comply with Lebanese law," it said in the letter.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations warned the world body last week that the Jewish state was entitled to use "all necessary force" to stop the Lebanese activists' boats.

On Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak also reiterated a warning that Lebanon would be responsible for any "violent and dangerous confrontation" with vessels sailing to Gaza from its shores.

In defiance of the Israeli warnings, Lebanese civilian groups are still planning to transport aid, including medical supplies, by sea to the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian territory via Cyprus.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

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