Israel 'determined' to halt Gaza flotilla

2011-06-23 21:55

New York - Israel is "determined" to stop an activist flotilla that will try to reach the besieged Gaza Strip next week, the country's UN envoy said Thursday.

Setting off a new dispute with his Palestinian counterpart, ambassador Ron Prosor said: "Israel is determined to stop this flotilla. Israel has the right to self defence." He called the protest a "provocation".

"The flotilla has nothing constructive - there is nothing humanitarian or anything that has to do with Palestinian welfare in the organizing of this flotilla," he told reporters as the UN Security Council held talks on the Middle East including the flotilla.

Prosor called the organisers "extremists".

About 10 boats are to take part in the flotilla which is set to leave 13 months after Israeli commandos halted a previous aid armada heading for Gaza, killing nine people, mainly Turkish nationals.

A group of pro-Palestinian activists, led by several Turkish groups, have said they plan to sail to Gaza, mainly from Greek ports, in a repeat of the mission violently halted on May 31 last year.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and a number of governments have warned the flotilla not to start.

The US government has warned its nationals against taking part in the protest.

Israel has strongly urged Turkey to block the flotilla from leaving. The United Nations has said that aid shipments should be sent through formal UN structures.

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Riyadh Mansour, spoke up for the flotilla protest however. "If this blockade of Gaza was lifted there might not be the need for many of the things which are happening and might happen," he told reporters.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2006 after militants snatched Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. A ban on civilian goods and foodstuffs was eased last year but many restrictions remain in place.

Mansour rejected the Israeli envoy's condemnation of Palestinian moves to seek international recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations in September.

Prosor said the "unilateral" action risked putting back peace efforts.

"The biggest illegal action we have seen for a long time is the illegal settlement campaign by Israel against our people," Mansour said.

Palestinians were ready to negotiate on final status issues with Israel, he said.

"Our independence is not one of these six final status issues."

Read more on:    un  |  ban ki-moon  |  gaza strip  |  palestine  |  israel

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.