US Issues Official Statement Against Gaza-bound Flotilla
June 4, 2011 Leave a comment
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.