Israel has issued a warning against a Libyan aid ship en route to the Gaza Strip as part of its bid to hinder pro-Palestinian relief efforts.
Tel Aviv says allowing the ship to go ahead with its mission will have serious consequences for "Israel’s security," adding that it will stop the Libyan aid vessel from entering the impoverished enclave.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday that the move is “an unnecessary provocation,” AFP quoted him as saying.
The Moldova-flagged cargo ship, the Amalthea, organized by the Tripoli-based Gaddafi International Charity and Development Association, was scheduled to depart from Greece to break the Israeli siege of Gaza.
The vessel has already set sail from the Greek port of Lavrio and is now moving toward the coastal strip.
Tel Aviv insists that the supplies be transferred to the Gaza Strip through the Israeli port of Ashdod.
Earlier, the Israeli government claimed to have blocked an attempt by Libya to deliver aid to the besieged residents of the Gaza Strip.
The aid ship is carrying 12 crewmembers and 2,000 tons of foodstuffs and medical supplies, including sacks of rice, sugar, corn oil and olive paste.
Efforts by Israel to prevent the aid ship from reaching Gaza comes after Israeli commandos assaulted the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla aid convoy on May 31, killing nine Turkish nationals onboard.
The fatal attack drew global condemnation and raised calls for an international inquiry into the episode.