Libya accused Israel of piracy at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday for preventing a Libyan ship from delivering humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip. The Libyan boat, Al-Marwa, turned back in the face of an Israeli naval blockade on Monday. Libyan and Palestinian officials said it was carrying 3,000 tons of food, medicine and other aid to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Libyan UN Ambassador Giadallah Ettalhi told the 15-nation council that the Israeli action was "an act of piracy" as defined by the UN convention on law of the sea. He asked the council "to take the necessary urgent actions to allow the ... ship to enter the port and unload its cargo." He added that Libya would allow the United Nations or other organizations to confirm that its cargo was purely humanitarian. Ettalhi said he hoped the council would agree to issue a statement condemning the Israeli move, which would require the backing of all 15 council members. The council took no immediate action on the Libyan draft statement. Israel's UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev defended her country's decision not to let the Libyan ship reach Gaza and said it was unfortunate that the council had been "outrageously compelled" by Libya to discuss the incident.