Libya: Israel guilty of ”piracy in the high seas”

Published December 4th, 2008 - 07:18 GMT

Libya protested Wednesday before the UN Security Council over Israel's interception of one of its cargo ships attempting to offload aid in Gaza. Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi told an emergency council session that Israel was guilty of "piracy in the high seas," and called for "effective action that will ensure compliance of Israel with international humanitarian law and the law of the seas".


His complaints, however, failed to elicit a formal condemnation of Monday's actions by Israel. Israeli warships on Monday prevented a Libyan cargo vessel, the Al-Marwa, from reaching the Gaza Strip with 3,000 tons of humanitarian aid for the Palestinian coastal territory.


According to AFP, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Gabriela Shalev, invited to speak at the council meeting even though her country is not a member, rejected Libya's accusations, especially the piracy contention, and in turn charged Tripoli with provocation. She said that since Libya does not recognize the state of Israel, the interception was justified on grounds of national security.


"No member State of this Council, nor any other member of the United Nations, would allow a shipment originating from a hostile state towards a territory that serves as a launching pad for terrorist attacks against its civilians," Shalev said.




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