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US Attempts to Block Sail of Gaza Freedom Flotilla

June 4, 2011

Washington trying to block sail of freedom flotilla

[ 04/06/2011 - 10:04 AM ]


The US administration is trying to convince Turkey to block the sail of the Freedom Flotilla 2, which is carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, a Hebrew daily reported on Saturday.

Haaretz said that Washington was proposing in return that Ankara would host Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, while promising to boost Turkey’s status in the region.

The paper, which was quoting the Turkish press, said that the US was probing Turkey’s possible response to such proposals, adding that American sources predicted Ankara would turn down the idea.

Organizers of the freedom flotilla 2 said that the ships carrying Turkish and European activists and relief material intend to set sail to Gaza on 20th June.

US Issues Official Statement Against Gaza-bound Flotilla

Friday June 03, 2011 04:47 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The US State Department issued an official statement reiterating its objection to the Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla, and stating that it raised the issue with the government of Turkey, as the United States believes that flotilla and any ship sailing to Gaza “would be regarded as an act of provocation”.

The State Department justified its stance by claiming that an “effective mechanism” is already in place to ensure humanitarian aid reaches the coastal region.

Deputy spokesperson of the State Department, Mark Toner, stated during a press briefing in Washington that the United States warned Turkey against organisations trying to break the Israeli siege on Gaza.

Toner said that the groups and individuals who aim at breaking the Israeli maritime siege on the Gaza Strip are conducting what he dubbed as “provocative and irresponsible actions that could lead to violence”.

He added that any supplies meant to be sent to Gaza must go through what he called the “efficient mechanisms that have been established”.

Toner refused to comment on the possibility that Israel will, once again, attack the flotilla and said that such questions should be directed to the Israeli government . He stated; “actions and attempts to break the blockade on Gaza are provocative”, adding that “the United States does not want to see anybody harmed”.

Last week, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, sent letters to Mediterranean countries urging them to stop the ships and to discourage human rights activists from sending the new flotilla.

He also called on Israel to act in a responsible manner to avoid violence, similar to last year's deadly Israeli attack against the Mavi Marmara Turkish ship, one of the Freedom Flotilla ships, that was violently attacked and boarded by Israeli commandos who killed nine Turkish activists and wounded several others.

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