Tags: Hamas | flotilla | resumption | cup

Hamas Vows Resumption of Flotillas After World Cup

Monday, 28 June 2010 06:33 AM

Former Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar has warned Israel to expect the resumption of international flotillas to the Gaza Strip in the near future, British newspaper The Independent reported Monday.

"After the Mondial (World Cup) at least eight ships will come from the Gulf," he said. When asked whether Iranian vessels will be involved al-Zahar responded, "Why not?"

In an interview with the British newspaper, the Hamas figure said that there would be more flotillas "than in your imagination."

Referring to the possibility that Egypt might prevent a flotilla from the Persian Gulf passing through the Suez Canal en route to Gaza, al-Zahar said; "They have the right in international law to go as the Israelis go. Egypt will never be able to stop such a campaign."

The newspaper quoted al-Zahar addressing the possibility that Iran may sponsor vessels: "I ask you about morality. Where is your morality if Iran is going to give food and drugs? What justifies preventing that?"

Al-Zahar also accused the Israeli government of reneging on a prisoner swap agreement which he insisted could have led to the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit.

"Up to this moment, the Israeli intention is not to have an agreement," he claimed. The Hamas leader said that Shalit's captors were the ones refusing to allow a visit by the Red Cross or another international humanitarian organization and noted the people concerned told him a visit was impossible.

The Hamas official repeated the group's claim that during the last negotiations, brokered by a German mediator, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to an initial list of 325 Palestinian prisoners to be released, and possibly 125 more. However, he noted that things have changed since then, and refused to answer a question about whether the German mediator is still involved in negotiations.

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Monday, 28 June 2010 06:33 AM
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