Photo Credit: Giorgio Galeotti / Wikimedia
Port of Livorno, Italy on August 16, 2020

A port workers’ union in the Italian (Tuscan) city of Livorno attempted to block an arms shipment to Israel on Friday after discovering weapons and explosives were destined for the southern Israeli port city of Ashdod.

The pro-Palestinian Authority workers refused to load the ship after receiving information about the cargo and its destination from The Weapons Watch, a Genoa-based NGO that monitors arms shipments in European and Mediterranean ports.

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The shipment did eventually depart the port on its route to Naples, however, since most other port workers continued to the load the ship, according to Britain’s Al Araby news outlet.

The Weapons Watch NGO urged Italy’s government to consider “suspending some or all Italian military exports to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict areas.”

“The port of Livorno will not be an accomplice in the massacre of the Palestinian people,” L’Unione Sindacale di Base (USB) said in a statement published by multiple European news outlets.

The port workers’ union said the departing vessel carried “weapons and explosives that will serve to kill the Palestinian population, already hit by a severe attack this very night, which caused hundreds of civilian victims, including many children.”

In its statement, the port workers’ union also said its group will be in Livorno square the next day “in solidarity with the Palestinian population, and to ask for an immediate stop to the bombings on Gaza.” The group added that it would ask for “a stop to the ‘expropriations’ of Palestinian homes that have lived under military occupation for years.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.