Mideast mediators discourage Gaza-bound flotillas

AP News
Posted: Jul 02, 2011 1:52 PM
Mideast mediators discourage Gaza-bound flotillas

A group of Mideast mediators is urging governments to discourage flotillas bound for Gaza.

The statement Saturday by the Middle East Quartet of Mideast mediators comes after Greek authorities arrested a captain who was part of a flotilla trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territory.

The quartet _ made up of the U.S., the United Nations, the European Union and Russia _ says it is concerned about the difficult conditions facing Palestinians in Gaza. But it noted what it called a "marked increase" in the range of materials and goods entering Gaza.

The group says those wishing to deliver goods to Gaza should do so through "established channels" such as Israeli and Egyptian crossings. It cited the risk of safety and the "potential for escalation."