UN's Ban discourages new Gaza convoy

2011-05-27 22:43

kalahari.com

New York - UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on governments on Friday to discourage pro-Palestinian activists from sending a new aid flotilla to Gaza a year after Israeli commandos killed nine people aboard a previous convoy.

In letters to Mediterranean governments, Ban said all aid for Gaza, which is blockaded by Israeli forces, should go through "legitimate crossings and established channels" - which in practice in recent years has meant through Israel.

But he also called on Israel to "act responsibly" to avoid violence.

Activists say it is legal for them to send goods by sea direct to the coastal Gaza Strip. Israel says it is justified in blocking such shipments because Palestinian militants in Gaza, which is run by the Hamas Islamist group, conduct military actions against Israel such as firing rockets.

Ban said in his letters he was concerned by reports that another attempt would be made next month to send an international aid flotilla to Gaza, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said.

"The secretary general called on all governments concerned to use their influence to discourage such flotillas, which carry the potential to escalate into violent conflict," Nesirky told reporters.

Anniversary

"He further called on all, including the government of Israel, to act responsibly and with caution to avoid any violent incident."

Last May 31, Israeli marines intercepted a six-ship flotilla in international waters and killed nine activists - eight Turks and a Turkish-American - aboard the Mavi Marmara, owned by the Turkish Islamic charity IHH.

Israel said its marines were attacked by activists wielding metal bars, clubs and knives. The incident led to a breakdown in already strained ties between Turkey and Israel.

With the anniversary of the incident looming, the Free Gaza Movement, an international pro-Palestinian activists group that includes IHH, is planning for a convoy to set out for Gaza from various parts of Europe, including Turkey.

The movement says on its website that at least 10 ships with doctors, professors, artists and journalists among those on board, as well as construction supplies and humanitarian aid, will set sail in the second half of June.

It describes the move as "an act of non-violent civil disobedience to persuade the international community to fulfil its obligations towards the Palestinian people and end Israel's four-year illegal blockade of Gaza".

Gaza situation unsustainable

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said last week his administration had warned Turkish activists of the risks of trying to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza, but could not prevent them from sailing, as Israel has requested.

Ban, whose letter did not mention Turkey by name, said that while flotillas were "not helpful", the Gaza situation was unsustainable and Israel should take "further meaningful and far-reaching steps" to end the territory's closure.

Ban last year appointed a panel, headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and including a Turkish and an Israeli representative, to look into the Mavi Marmara affair.

The panel's report to Ban has been delayed by disagreements between Turkey and Israel over its findings, diplomats and UN officials say.

Read more on:    un  |  ban ki-moon  |  gaza  |  israel  |  middle east peace
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Food
 

The most extreme journey ever?

One man is sailing around the world in a beach cat - no cabin to sleep in and no GPS.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!
Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips

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!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being challenged...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.