Prosor lobbies UN Security Council against Gaza flotilla

New envoy to the United Nations: Flotilla is not humanitarian, has nothing to do with welfare of the Palestinian people.

By JORDANA HORN, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
June 23, 2011 19:52
3 minute read.
United Nations Security Council chamber

United Nations Security Council chamber 311. (photo credit: Patrick Gruban/WikiCommons)

 
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NEW YORK – At the United Nations on Thursday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, highlighted Under-Secretary- General Lynn Pascoe’s characterization of the anticipated Gaza flotilla to the Security Council as having the potential for “dangerous escalation” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Pascoe briefed the Security Council on current developments in the Middle East, focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and saying that Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon is “increasingly worried” about the impasse in the region.

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Pascoe said that US President Barack Obama’s May 19 Middle East policy speech “offered important ideas,” and urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to respond positively and to coordinate direct negotiation efforts with the Quartet.

Any assistance for Gaza, Pascoe stated to the Security Council, “should be delivered through proper channels,” and any flotillas carry with them the “potential for dangerous escalation.”

After the Security Council open session, Prosor held his first press conference as the new permanent representative of Israel to the UN.

Prosor said the number one item on his agenda is Iran, its quest for nuclear weapons and its sponsorship of regional terrorism.



He said Israel and the Palestinians are currently “working together to move as fast as possible into direct negotiations.”

Prosor’s remarks focused on the upcoming flotilla anticipated next week.

“It’s important to state that there is nothing – nothing humanitarian or anything that has to do with Palestinian welfare that the organizers of this flotilla want to do,” Prosor told journalists, saying that the flotilla’s organizers were “clearly determined to move a certain political agenda and to provoke.”

“The international community, headed by the Secretary General, has come out with a statement trying to address the world and to tell different countries and their citizens that this is not a good idea to mount this flotilla,” Prosor said, noting that Israel is “determined” to stop the flotilla.

“We have seen in the past with the Victoria full of ammunition and shore-to-sea missiles… you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that those rockets fall on our heads and we have the right to defend ourselves,” Prosor said.

“This flotilla – we’re saying it ahead of time – can bring just trouble, nothing constructive,” he continued. “We hope with the support of the international community that we can stop this flotilla in reaching this goal.”

Prosor added that this is “exactly the wrong time” to add more tensions to a region that is already tense.

When asked about the possibility of a commando raid on the flotilla, Prosor responded, “We are very determined to defend ourselves and to assert our right to a naval blockade on Gaza – to stop the smuggling of weapons into Gaza that we find landing on our heads in Sderot, and other parts of Israel…. We are determined to assert our rights like any other nation in the world.”

In terms of Israel-Palestinian negotiations, Prosor said, there is “a lot of work to be done.”

“Yes, we are in the midst of trying to find ways to go back into direct negotiations,” Prosor said. “I solemnly believe personally that doing anything unilateral would not be constructive.”

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