Jerusalem: Israeli Defence Minister Ehud
Barak on Thursday warned Lebanon it would be responsible for any
"violent and dangerous confrontation" with an activist aid
flotilla expected to set sail for Gaza.
"I say clearly to the government of Lebanon: You are
responsible for the boats leaving your ports, which have the
clear and stated intention of trying to break the naval
blockade on Gaza," he said in a statement.
"The Lebanese government ... is responsible for
preventing the loading of weapons, ammunition, explosive
materials and other things of that nature which could lead to
a violent and dangerous confrontation if the ship refuses to
come to Ashdod," he added, referring to an Israeli port.
A group of dozens of Lebanese women activists said
earlier this week they would set sail for Gaza with an aid
ship loaded with medical supplies in the latest bid to break
Israel's four-year blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.
Israeli officials had warned that the navy would not
allow the boat to pass or for Lebanon's Iranian-backed
militant group Hezbollah to use it to transport arms.
The women insisted, however, that they were not
affiliated with Hezbollah or any other political organisation,
and said the ship would carry 30 Lebanese activists as well as
20 foreigners, including several Europeans.
First Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 21:38