United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon conveyed his opposition to the upcoming flotilla organized to break the blockade of Gaza via a top UN official on Wednesday.
In a briefing to the UN Security Council, Undersecretary General Jeffrey Feltman stated that Ban “continues to believe that a flotilla will not help to address the dire situation in Gaza and reiterates his calls on the government of Israel to lift all closures, with due consideration of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”
The announcement came two days after Israeli ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called on Ban to condemn the flotilla’s mission as detrimental to peace, saying that the flotilla “holds the potential for dangerous consequences.” Prosor noted multiple times, such as the 2009 SS Francop incident and the 2013 Klos-C incident, when large shipments of weapons en route to Gaza were discovered and interdicted by the blockade.
“The international community must send an unambiguous message to the organizers and participants of these provocations that such initiatives only serve to raise tensions in our region,” Prosor added. He also noted that a 2010 UN panel of inquiry determined that Israel’s blockade of Gaza complies with international law. The panel found that “the naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”