Hezbollah says they will not take part in Gaza-bound aid missions
The Lebanese Shiite Movement Hezbollah said Friday that the movement will not take part in Gaza-bound aid missions so as not to give a pretext for Israel to attack Lebanon, dpa reported.
"We in Hezbollah highly value the humanitarian moves to break the siege on Gaza, but since the beginning we have stayed away from such acts not because we are greedy but because we do not want to give the Israeli enemy an excuse to carry out an aggression against Lebanon," a statement by the group said.
The statement came after some local media said Hezbollah was urged not to give Israel a pretext to attack by supporting aid ships leaving from Lebanon for Gaza.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Liwaa quoted on Friday an anonymous Lebanese source as saying that Public Works and Transportation Ministry has asked Hezbollah to refrain from participation in the Lebanese aid ship Miriam which will head to Gaza next week.
Some 50 Christian and Muslim Lebanese women as well as foreigners are preparing to leave Lebanon next week on board of the Miriam.
The group of women who announced that they do not belong to any political group, will sail from the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli to Cyprus and then to Gaza, between June 23 and 25.
The ship which will be loaded with medical supplies for cancer patients, would be the latest bid to break Israel's four-year blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.
On Thursday Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned the Lebanese government that it would be held responsible for ships sailing from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip, Israeli Radio reported.
Samar al-Hajj, who is organizing the Miriam voyage to Gaza, thanked Israel "for its threats which only strengthened these women's willpower to make the trip. I tell the Israelis we are not afraid and we are going on with our plans."