Cyprus refused to allow a Gaza-bound all-women ship to dock as Israel asks France and the United States to help prevent a possible clash on the high seas. Israel warns that Hizbullah-linked elements are behind the proposed sailing.
The women insist they are not affiliated with Hizbullah, but Samar al-Hajj, the organizer of the ship, is the wife of Lebanese general Ali Hajj, who is in a Lebanese jail for involvement with the 2005 assassination of former anti-Syrian Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. She reportedly met with Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah several weeks ago.
"Our position is clear. The arrival and departure of vessels to or from Gaza via Cyprus ports is prohibited and we will implement that decision," Cypriot police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told Reuters.
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