June 17, 2010

Israel has warned both Lebanese and Iranian organizers against sending aid ships to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said attempts by Lebanese and Iranian activists to break the blockade of Gaza “would be seen not just as a provocation and a breach of law, but as a hostile act because the ships and their cargo are from enemy states.”

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“They are coming from an enemy state and it means that, of course, the treatment is different, because legally they are different,” Palmor warned.

Two non-governmental organizations — the Free Palestine Movement and the Beirut-based Journalists Without Limits – had announced their intention to send ships to Gaza soon.

Head of the Free Palestine Movement Yasser Qoshlok called on “all those who consider themselves ‘free’ to participate in this convoy,” dubbed “Naji al-Ali Fleet to break the siege on the children and the people of Gaza.”

Qoshlok said the convoy will carry assistance and educational materials for Palestinian children.

He said the ship will also carry journalists to focus on Gaza under siege and cover the humanitarian crisis that exists for Gazans under the Israeli blockade.

“This campaign is launched after the Freedom Fleet because the media has become the first authority rather than the fourth,” Qoshlok said.

Thaer Ghandour of the Journalists Without Limits said the ship — carrying 50 journalists and 25 European activists including European MPs, will leave Beirut port this week.

Ghandour appealed “to all the free people in this world to provide financial contributions to buy a boat.

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