Israel urges Lebanon to block ships to Gaza

UNITED NATIONS – Israel urged Lebanon and the international community on Friday to prevent ships from sailing to Gaza from the Lebanese port of Tripoli to break Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory.

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said in letters to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council that her country reserves the right under international law “to use all necessary means” to prevent the ships from violating the naval blockade.

Shalev said a group of individuals “with suspected ties to the Hezbollah terrorist organization” has announced that the vessel Mariam will depart from Tripoli on Sunday en route to Gaza via a port in Cyprus, possibly via Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus.

Israel’s U.N. spokeswoman said the organizers also are expected to send other vessels to try to break the blockade.


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