FM: 'boarding legal under int'l law'

Lieberman: 'flotilla unacceptable attack on Israel's sovereignty'.

May 31, 2010 21:21
1 minute read.
 Foreign Minister and Israel Beiteinu party chairm

avigdor lieberman 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says the boarding of the ships in international waters was legal under international law.  He described the Gaza flotilla as an attempt to undermine Israel's sovereignty.

Speaking to Channel 10 news on Monday night the FM said: "Israel is a sovereign state and cannot accept the undermining of its sovereignty. Israel has stopped ships in international waters before and when ships refuse to accede to warnings and obey instructions, we have the right to board them under international law."

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He went on to say that the passengers on board the ship "were not peace activists but terror supporters."

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Lieberman praised the soldiers who he said "showed great restraint and bravery while under attack by hooligans, anarchists and terror supporters".  He also expressed appreciation of pressures under which foreign ministry employees and IDF spokesperson who, he said, had been working relentlessly throughout the day.

Lieberman said that Israel had warned the Turkish government through "both formal and informal contacts. All our efforts were rejected. The aim of this ship was violence, they prepared an ambush and were equipped with arms, an officer was stabbed."  He noted that Israel allows countries to send aid to Gaza through its territory, after checking that it has no military purpose and that many countries do so.

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