“the new secret weapon” in use against the “thieving enemy," said Samar Alhaj, the woman leading the Lebanese boat that
scheduled to try to break the naval blockade on Gaza in an
a regional Israeli Arabic- language radio station in Nazareth. The Israeli government has linked the boat to Hizbullah ”
Radio A-Shams by Zohair Bahloul why the ship, Mariam, would only be carrying
women, she said, “We are women in order not to give the thieving enemy an excuse
to use arms against the ship.” She said the ship would be carrying cancer
medication for children, and women suffering from breast cancer and cancer of
the uterus due to “chemical bombs” dropped on Gaza by Israel.
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the wife of an officer in the Lebanese security service who was jailed for four
years for alleged involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime
Minister Rafik Hariri. Alhaj and her husband met with Hizbullah leader Sheikh
Hassan Nasrallah on May 22.
Speaking of Israel, she said, “the entity
that was not defeated will be defeated by women that will come on the boat. Our
weapon is cancer medication.
We don’t have scud missiles or any other
missiles, and you will see what they will do to us.”
Alhaj said that the
boat will have some 50 women, “more Christians than Muslims,” and will be coming
from Lebanon, the US, France, Britain, Japan, Kuwait and Egypt.
who said it was a great honor to talk to such an “impressive woman,” ended the
interview by saying “Allah should watch over you and grant you
Meanwhile, Yasser Kashlak, a Syrian businessman of Palestinian
descent who heads the “Free Palestine Organization” and is funding this boat, as
well as another that is to carry journalists and parliamentarians, said over the
weekend on Hizbullah’s al-Manar television station that he was more and more
optimistic that one day these same boats would take “Europe’s refuse [the Jews]
that came to my homeland back to their homelands.
“Gilad Schalit should
go back to Paris and those murderers go back to Poland, and after that
chase them until the ends of the earth to bring them to justice for
of slaughter from Deir Yassin until today.” Kashlak, a fervent Hizbullah
supporter, called Israel a “rabid dog sent to the region to frighten the
He said he had a message for Israelis: ‘Get on the ships we are sending
go back to your lands. Don’t let the moderate Arab leaders delude you,
cannot make peace with us. Our children will return to Palestine, you
reason for coexistence. Even if our leaders will sign a peace agreement,
not sign.’” He said the boat carrying journalists and parliamentarians
carry 12 former American diplomats as well..Israel will use all means necessary to stop the boats
Israel, meanwhile, has
threatened to use all means necessary to stop the boats from Lebanon
breaking Gaza’s naval blockade as its diplomats appealed to the international community to prevent the
ships from setting sail.
On Friday Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gabriela
Shalev sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in which she said Israel has a right to use “all
necessary means” to stop these vessels.
“Israel calls upon the
international community to exercise its influence in order to prevent these
boats from departing and to discourage their nations from taking part in such
action,” she wrote.
These vessels could escalate tensions and affect
peace and security in the region, she said.
Given the ongoing conflict
between Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, the declared intentions of the
ships to break the blockade, and their departure from Lebanon which “remains in
a state of hostility with Israel,” she said, “Israel reserves its right under
international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from
violating the existing naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.”
said the true intentions of the organizers of the flotilla from Lebanon remain
“dubious,” noting that they have been quoted in the media saying they wish to be
shahids or martyrs. She also cited “a possible link” between the organizers and
“the terrorist group Hizbullah” based in Lebanon and said “Israel cannot exclude
the possibility that terrorists or arms will be smuggled on board the ships in
“In view of these circumstances, Israel calls upon the
government of Lebanon to demonstrate responsibility and to prevent these boats
from departing to the Gaza Strip,” she said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman
Yigal Palmor told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that ambassadors had been asked
to send a very clear message to the Foreign Ministries in their host countries
that since the Lebanese flotilla was coming from an enemy country, they would be
treated as if they were hostile.
On Wednesday Foreign Ministry
Director-General Yossi Gal convened a meeting with international ambassadors
stationed here and gave them that same message.Ayalon: Next flotilla will unveil the true nature of such initiatives
On Thursday Deputy
Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the French Foreign Affairs Committee that the
flotilla emanating from Lebanon or Iran will unveil the true nature of such
“If there was a mask of humanitarianism on previous
flotillas, the mask has been removed completely from these boats, which are
carrying representatives of Hizbullah and Iran,” Ayalon said.
closed Gaza’s land crossings to all but humanitarian goods and imposed a naval
blockade on the area in 2007 after Hamas violently overran Gaza. Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu had rejected calls to lift the naval blockade, insisting it
prevents missile attacks on Israel. But under intense international pressure
following the flotilla raid, which resulted in the deaths of eight Turkish
activists and a Turkish-American, the security cabinet on Thursday announced it
would take a number of measures to increase the flow of goods by land into
It has said it will allow all foods and some desperately needed
construction materials into Gaza. The security cabinet is expected to meet again
this week to discuss ways to execute Thursday’s decision.
The UN chief
said he is “encouraged” that Israel is reviewing its Gaza policy and recently
decided to allow more goods into the Palestinian
“Nevertheless, much more is required to really meet the needs
of the people,” Ban said. “I continue to call for a fundamental change in the
policies that apply to Gaza.”
The announcement, however, did little to
quell the global outcry over the deadly raid. Israel maintains its soldiers
acted in self-defense.
Ban told reporters that he has been trying to
arrange the “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation
conforming to international standards” that the UN Security Council called on
He said Israel’s own investigation into the flotilla raid – a
public commission with two international observers – “is important” but won’t
have “international credibility,” which is why he is continuing to urge the
Israeli government to agree to an international panel under a third party “in
which both Turkey and Israel would actively participate.” Pressed on why he
didn’t just go ahead and appoint an international commission, the secretary-
general explained that without Israel’s “full cooperation it would be extremely
difficult to have a full and credible investigation, and that is why even if it
may take time, I’m discussing this matter with the Israeli
government.”AP contributed to this report.•
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