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Beirut warns IDF not to attack flotilla

June 23, 2010 16:23

Lebanon sends letter to UN putting responsibility on Israel.

Julia, one of two ships planning a blockade-bustin

Lebanon Flotilla 311. (photo credit:Associated Press)

BEIRUT - Lebanon said Wednesday that it will hold Israel responsible for any attack against blockade-busting aid ships planning to sail to Gaza in coming days.

Two ships carrying aid are planning to make the trip to Gaza. Lebanese authorities have so far granted one of them permission to sail first to Cyprus and not directly to Gaza because Lebanon and Israel are technically at war.

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A Lebanese official said that Lebanon had sent a letter to the UN holding Israel responsible for any attack on the ships and that it cannot stop ships from leaving its ports if they comply with its law.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to the media on the record.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Beirut last week about boats setting sail for Gaza from Lebanon.

“I am saying clearly to the Lebanese government,” Barak said in a statement, “you are responsible for vessels leaving your ports with the clear intention of trying to block the naval blockade of Gaza.”

Barak, reflecting serious concern about the boats that Israel has linked to Hizbullah activists, said Lebanon had a responsibility to prevent the boats from being loaded with arms and ammunition, “which could lead to a violent and dangerous confrontation in the event that the boat refuses to come to Ashdod.”
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