Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Blair scraps Gaza trip after claim of death threat

DAILY MAIL : 16 Jul 2008

By MATTHEW KALMAN in Jerusalem

TONY BLAIR scrapped a visit to the Gaza Strip at the last minute
yesterday after Israel claimed Palestinian groups were planning to
assassinate him.

Mr Blair, the envoy for the Middle East peace 'quartet' of the UN, EU,
U.S. and Russia, was in his official convoy speeding towards a
Gaza-Israel border crossing when he was phoned by Israeli defence
minister Ehud Barak.

Mr Barak told him the secret service had received an intelligence
warning of 'a very serious' threat to assassinate him.

Mr Blair's advance security detail had already passed through the Erez
checkpoint, but Mr Blair ordered the convoy to turn back to his office
in Jerusalem.

He said the threat had been 'specific' and 'credible', but that he had
postponed the visit rather than cancelled it.

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