In praise of the Greek proletariat!

January 15, 2009

In News

UPDATE: US Cancels Munitions Shipment To Israel Via Greece

01.13.2009 |

(Updates with further comments from Pentagon spokesman)

WASHINGTON (AFP)–The U.S. military has to had to cancel a planned shipment of munitions from a Greek port to a U.S. warehouse in Israel due to objections from Athens, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday.

“I think the Greek government had some issue with the offloading of some of that shipment in their country and so we are finding alternative means of getting that entire shipment to its proper destination in Israel,” spokesman Geoff Morrell told a news conference. “I don’t think we’ve come to a final resolution on how or when that will take place.”

The shipment had been agreed last summer before the current Israeli offensive in Gaza, he said.

He said the U.S. had operated the munitions stockpile for nearly 20 years and that Israel “can ask for permission to access” the munitions.

He said he didn’t know the nature of Greece’s objection and whether it was related to security or political concerns.

Greece bars Israel arms shipments

01.15.2009 | Daily News [?]

GREECE barred its ports today from exporting arms to Israel, despite a tender for that purpose with the US Navy.

Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyiannis told reporters today that neither the private port of Astakos in the country’s west nor “any other location in Greece will be used for the supplying of the Israeli army”.

Details of a US Navy tender were revealed by Reuters and confirmed by Washington.

“The tender for the vessel follows the hiring of a commercial ship to
carry a much larger consignment of ordnance in December from the
United States to Israel ahead of air strikes in the Gaza Strip.”

“Greek opposition parties maintained the government objected to the
shipment only after the issue was revealed in the local media,
because it feared public opinion in Greece, which is broadly opposed
to ongoing Israeli military action in Gaza.”

“But the request to shippers had now been canceled due to safety
concerns at the final destination related to the conflict in Gaza, Ryder said.”

“Morrell said he did not know if Israel currently had access to the
weapons cache.”

“A senior military analyst in London who declined to be named said
that, because of the timing, the shipments could be “irregular” and
linked to the Gaza offensive.”