Tel Aviv sent an official letter to the United Nations stating that it will, and “has the right” to intercept the Lebanese solidarity ship, Mariam, carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza.Israeli TV, Channel 2, reported that Israel’s UN Envoy, Gabriella Shalev, handed the letter to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, informing him that Israel will use whatever means needed to intercept any ship that sails to Gaza.
Shalev claimed that the organizers of the trip have ties with the Hezbollah party in Lebanon, and added that Israel cannot know for sure that they “are not smuggling terrorists and weapons to Gaza”, according to Shaliv.
It is worth mentioning that the Hezbollah party officially stated that it has no connection whatsoever with the ship.
The party said it kept away from the ship in order to avoid granting Israel any motives to attack it.
Although it remains unknown when the ships will be sailing, Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Israel believes they will be sailing Sunday.
Israel intends to use force similar to the violence used against the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship on May 31.
The army received instructions to stop the ships by all means and to use force if needed.
It is worth mentioning that that the Lebanese ship will only carry women, Muslim and Christian, in addition to medical and humanitarian supplies.
Muslim and Christian leaders held prayers on Friday afternoon in southern Lebanon. The prayers were held in Maghdousha, near Sidon, at a cave believed to be the location where Mary waited for her son, Jesus Christ, as he toured the area with his disciples.
Reema Farah, spokesperson for the Lebanese ship, said that the participants are determined to sail to Gaza, and that their only weapon is the Virgin Mary and humanity.
Farah added that the ship is carrying medicine and will sail to Gaza regardless of the Israeli threats.
She warned Israel not to repeat “the same sin its soldiers carried out against the Marmara ship”, and added that women from Syria, Egypt, Kuwait, several European countries, and the United States will be sailing to Gaza onboard the Mariam ship.