Arab nations appeal to UN to stop Israeli 'piracy'

Arab nations turned to the United Nations for help Thursday in persuading Israel to release a cargo ship it intercepted that had been headed for the Gaza Strip. Lebanese diplomat Caroline Ziade urgently appealed to members of the 15-nation Security Council and to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying her government "calls on the international community to press Israel to immediately release the ship" and let it deliver tons of medicine, food and toys. "My government condemns the Israeli actions and considers them a blatant and flagrant breach to international law and international humanitarian law," she wrote. The Israeli navy fired at and boarded the ship before towing it to the southern Israeli port of Ashdod. The IDF said the people aboard would be questioned and handed over to immigration authorities and the 60 tons of aid supplies transferred to Gaza by land.