Source: Al-Nahar Newspaper (in Arabic)
Translated by Roula Al-Masri
June 21, 2010
Israel’s two official letters to both the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the current President of the Security Council to prevent the Gaza-bound aid ships from reaching to Gaza, was a precedent in the history of the Israeli state, which it didn’t use with the ‘Freedom flotilla’. Israel, via its Ambassador to the UN, indicated that it will reserve all the rights to prevent Lebanese and foreign civilians on the Gaza-bound aid ship to reach Gaza by all means, not the least of which are arrest, detention, and referral to the courts.
Lebanon received a copy of this letter which Ban ki-moon and the Security Council President distributed on the member countries. In reacting to this, Lebanese diplomatic sources considered this as a provocative action which goes beyond threats, to force both security and state authorities in Lebanon to preventing the ships in order to realize other objectives:
1. Giving a harsh emotional blow for the organizers of both flotillas especially those who believe that it’s not just any cruise, but rather a move that would entail risks which might mount due to the reaction of the marine Israeli military
2. Starting a dispute between the Lebanese state and the organizers
3. Justifying the attack in front of international forums, which Lebanon might resort to
It is worth noting that Israel’s threats come on the pretext of existing links between Hezbollah and Gaza-bound aid ships. This happens, despite the press release issued by Hezbollah through which ensuring it will not take any part in any of the missions, and has no links whatsoever with the Lebanese flotillas whether at the level of coordination, logistical support, or actual participation. This comes to deny Israel any excuse to attack the boats.
Same Lebanese diplomatic sources consider that these great Israeli diplomatic efforts on the international level to prevent the Lebanese government from launching the aid ships, clearly indicates that it fears the reaction of the resistance in Lebanon.
The same sources have also indicated that the Lebanese government should be fully aware of the risks, as well as the Israeli aggressive intentions not only towards the flotillas but the military confrontation that Israel has been preparing for to attack Lebanon for months. This new aggression will be inclusive and will target, beside military targets, all Lebanese official and civil institutions. Israel, according the same Lebanese diplomatic sources, waits the right moment to attack, by which it would have secured the international acceptance. Finally, it calls the Lebanese authorities to take note and attend to the current critical and sensitive stage of the Lebanese – Israeli conflict.