Gaza flotilla – IDF – IHH – CIF – Turkey/Israel/International fallout

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    31st May 2010

    UPDATE 3: See the video here for interview with Israeli soldier.

    UPDATE 2: As Netanyahu returns to Israel before seeing Obama, this video is released, filmed from above the ship, the Mavi Marmara.  If this was the first soldier to land on the ship, we can clearly see within the first 20 seconds of filming that he was attacked by the peaceful Gaza boaters, NOT the other way round. (You’ll need to verify that you are not underage to view this at YouTube.)

    UPDATE: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is the Quartet Representative in the Middle East, called for a full investigation of the Israeli raid, and said: “I express deep regret and shock at the tragic loss of life. There obviously has to be a full investigation into what has happened. Once again I repeat my view that we need a different and better way of helping the people of Gaza and avoiding the hardship and tragedy that is inherent in the present situation.”

    Demonstrators Use Violence Against Israeli Navy Soldiers Attempting to Board Ship

    It’s clear how this whole episode will be reported in the British press, particularly on the left, and in many parts of the world. Since the anti-Israel Guardian will leap on it as “evidence”, you need to read their accounts before you are ready for the whole truth. Know your enemy. It isn’t always the so-called “peace-makers.”

    Twitter – Harriet Sherwood, Jerusalem correspondent of The Guardian.

    From Open Thread: IDF Attacked by “Peace Activists” Upon Boarding

    While the facts of what actually happened on board the Flotilla are still emerging here’s a Youtube video of the IDF warning the Flotilla:

    IsraelMFA — 30 May 2010 — Transcript:

    Israel Navy: “Mavi Marmara, you are approaching an area of hostilities which is under a naval blockade. The Gaza area coastal region and Gaza harbor are closed to all maritime traffic. The Israeli government supports delivery of humanitarian supplies to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip and invites you to enter the Ashdod port. Delivery of supplies in accordance with the authorities’ regulations will be through the formal land crossings and under your observation, after which you can return to your home ports on the vessels on which you have arrived.”

    Response: “Negative, negative.”

    ’19 Killed As Israel Storms Aid Convoy’

    Update 1

    As reports emerge that the “activists” violently resisted the Israeli soldiers precipitating the violence, this background pdf file on IHH, which is among the most prominent organizations behind the Flotilla, is of interest.

    Update 2

    The IDF Spokesperson is reporting that:

    During the boarding of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

    Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.

    Read the whole thing here.

    Update 3

    Richard Landes responds to Shmuel Rosner’s comments over at the Jerusalem Post.

    This is the framework in which to understand what’s happening: unscrupulous provocateurs circulate “lethal narratives” like Jenin and the media gobble it up and present it as news. The journalists who jump on these lethal narratives – the Israelis landed firing at us peaceful protesters – should be held accountable for their incompetence when the story comes out. Apparently, even Turkish CNN has admitted the soldiers were swarmed on landing.

    Update 5

    The Guardian has just opened a live thread. And the denunciations of the “Zionists” are coming in thick and thin.

    Here’s a sample comment from the thread:

    \

    Update 6

    This is in from the IDF Spokesman’s office:

    According to reports from sea, on board the flotilla that was attempting to break the maritime closure on the Gaza Strip, IDF forces apprehended two violent activists holding pistols. The violent activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines.

    Update 7

    The predictable antisemitism on the Guardian live thread is flowing:

    Update 8

    Lets not forget what we’re dealing with. What kind of peace activists engage in antisemitic Islamist chants: (Watch here)

    Update 9

    More comments from the Guardian’s live thread.

    Update 10

    Check out this Youtube video. The “peace activists” can be clearly seen attacking the soldiers violently (Watch here)

    RELATED

    IHH – the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Fund

    From backgrounder on IHH – IHH, which plays a central role in organizing the flotilla to the Gaza Strip, is a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic anti-Western orientation. Besides its legitimate philanthropic activities, it supports radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements.

    IDF: Soldiers were met by well-planned lynch, by YAAKOV KATZ The Jerusalem Post 05/31/2010 09:18
    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=176970

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/31/israel-blames-activists-fatal-ship-raid/

    Clearly these boat people expected confrontation. Why then oh why, did they take children including a baby along for the trip?

    ETCETERA

    Israelis debate how to deal with a nuclear Iran

    http://cifwatch.com/2010/05/31/jerusalem-post-publishes-story-reporting-on-cif-watch-debunking-of-the-mcgreal-revelations/

    http://www.24-7israel.com/2010/05/obama-israel-must-be-disarmed-before-middle-east-peace/


    Report from the IDF Youtube channel as at YouTube video on Violence at Update2, near top page.

    idfnadesk — 31 May 2010 — Early this morning, IDF Naval Forces boarded six ships attempting to break the maritime closure of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israeli Navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid supplies which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.

    During the boarding of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

    As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, as well as live fire.

    According to initial reports, these events resulted in the deaths of nine demonstrators and seven naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners have been evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.

    Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.

    The interception of the flotilla followed numerous warnings given to the organizers of the flotilla before leaving their ports as well as while sailing towards the Gaza Strip. In these warnings, it was made clear to the organizers that they could dock in the Ashdod sea port and unload the equipment they are carrying in order to deliver it to the Gaza Strip in an orderly manner, following the appropriate security checks. Upon expressing their unwillingness to cooperate and arrive at the port, it was decided to board the ships and lead them to Ashdod.

    IDF naval personnel encountered severe violence, including use of weaponry prepared in advance in order to attack and to harm them. The forces operated in adherence with operational commands and took all necessary actions in order to avoid violence, but to no avail.

    Early this morning, IDF Naval Forces boarded six ships attempting to break the maritime closure of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israeli Navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid supplies which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.
    During the boarding of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.
    As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, as well as live fire.
    According to initial reports, these events resulted in the deaths of nine demonstrators and seven naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners have been evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.
    Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.

The interception of the flotilla followed numerous warnings given to the organizers of the flotilla before leaving their ports as well as while sailing towards the Gaza Strip. In these warnings, it was made clear to the organizers that they could dock in the Ashdod sea port and unload the equipment they are carrying in order to deliver it to the Gaza Strip in an orderly manner, following the appropriate security checks. Upon expressing their unwillingness to cooperate and arrive at the port, it was decided to board the ships and lead them to Ashdod.

IDF naval personnel encountered severe violence, including use of weaponry prepared in advance in order to attack and to harm them. The forces operated in adherence with operational commands and took all necessary actions in order to avoid violence, but to no avail.




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    25 Responses to “Gaza flotilla – IDF – IHH – CIF – Turkey/Israel/International fallout”

    1. Alex Shemshurenko Says:

      I wonder what Turkish navy would do if flotilla of American Kurds under USA flag would approach Turkish cost with 10000 tons of unchecked shipment declared as humanitarian aid to Kurdish people in Turkey? I guess they will say , well thats a nice people we believe they don’t bring nothing bad , if they don’t want to be checked its ok let them pass.I mean 600 people that dont want to pass passport control is not a big deal for any country to handle.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Exactly, Alex. But how many will see it that way? After all Israel is an “illegal occupation”, they say, and is breaking UN resolutions. Unlike others, of course.

        See one response here – “Isn’t the fact that settlements are illegally built on usurped Palestinian land and plunder Palestinian water and other natural resources while its residents harass neighboring Palestinians much more of a “hate campaign” than the boycott? ”

        Which residents harass whom?

      • alain Says:

        the turkish will probably do the same than the IDF, seen their own record of brutality…but it doesn’t mean that it is correct. excesive use of force against civilians is a breach of the law.

        • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

          I suppose, alain, that excessive use of force against navy soldiers isn’t a breach of the law, then? Until we see or hear all the evidence I for one am willing to go by the evidence of the video. In other words, the boat people attacked first.

    2. celia walters Says:

      what gets me about these commentators it’s no point saying Israel shouldn’t be there and blaming the West for it being there. That was over 60 yrs ago. The problem now is Israel is there the Palestinians are there and until we can work this out peacefully there is going to be hatred on both sides but both sides are partly to blame and the Palestinians and muslims are hardly pure as the driven snow in this. If you read the UK press that is what you believe. Muslims can do no wrong over this issue. No wonder we have such a one sided pro palestinian attitude in this country.

    3. How come if you’re on an International flight to the U.S.? | International Airport News Says:

      […] Gaza flotilla – IDF – IHH – CIF – Turkey/Israel/International … […]

    4. abana@israel Says:

      what happened can be taken as provocation that was planned by terrorists in oder to demonstrate israel as *agressor*. now we can have new wave of agression from arab citizens here inside the country, which is very bad news- most of us-regular israeli citizens belive in possible no-blood solution for israeli-palestinian problem.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        I suppose we will need to await this independent inquiry. The argument seems to be that Israel had no rights to board that ship as she was in international waters. Experts here in Britain say differently, though.

        It always seemed to me only a matter of time before something like this would happen. These boat people were asking for trouble. They weren’t stopped from delivering, but only had to submit to a search before docking to the port directed, which seems fair enough if Israel suspects the charity involved was a cover for Hamas (with whom Israel is at war).

        Sadly so many in the region and the world have no regard for Israel’s position in all of this. Like Ahmadinejad many just want Israel to disappear.

    5. Gulu Ddene Says:

      Why do people talk about Palestinian people as if there was a nation called Palestine, with a culture and language of its own. Until the truth is said i.e The Jews belong where they are even archeology supports their existance there and History too, there will be no peace. The Arabs, the world politicians form the so called developed nations, as well as the big World Media corporations like, CNN, BBC, Al Jezeera etc. Have for a long time lied to the lay people of the world about the happenings in the Middle East and often have been driving their own agenda through. I have often asked on BBC’s have your say website, “Who are the Palestinian People??” Why doesn’t Egypt,Jordan in particular and other Arab nations accept the so called Palestianian people into there countries, because it would not make a difference what soever they speak the same language and have more or less the same culture but the BBC wouldnot publish my comments. So to me as long as we cannot even ask questions like the ones I mentioned above The rest of the world hasnot business condemning Israel’s actions when ever they defend themselves.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Gulu,

        The short answer – because they do not wish to understand. Their default position is “poor Palestinians.”
        The long answer is that there are many agendas at play here, from anti-Israel/anti-America/anti-Blair/anti-Iraq war/anti-interventionism. Mixed up with the cute and wrong-headed idea that the “victim” mentality of many in the Middle East is the right approach and is thus shared by many in the west (after all we have such rotten governments here in the west that we can’t say what we think, can we? – rhetorical question, btw) we have little chance of really understanding the situation and the past in the Middle East. I wrote about it some time ago – “Whose land is it anyway?”

        The BBC is very biased though it has no right to be. It is not paid by the license payer to be. But I too have found that they mainly publish comments from those who cry “poor Palestinians”(meaning “poor non-Jews”).

        We should have no doubt that if Iran, Syria and now even Turkey have their way, Israel will be removed, one way or another. That possibility is aided and abetted by the politically ignorant here in the west – a constant source of shame to me.

    6. Youtube video: Israeli soldier describes the violent mob aboard Mavi Marmara « Tony Blair Says:

      […] my earlier post  “Gaza flotilla – IDF – IHH – CIF – Turkey/Israel/International fallout” you can clearly see who exactly was first violent towards […]

    7. Elad Says:

      how come foreign news coverage of this event fail to mention that the IHH, the organisation behind the flotilla was banned by the US and even the UN for financing Al-Qaida terror cells?

      is it that surprising that Israel acted as it did when the organisation behind the flotila had it’s branch in the west bank closed by the Israeli gov’t after it’s members were involved in three shooting/bombing attacks against Israeli citizens and armed forces?

      intresting enough, no one seems to blame Turkey for deliberatly sending Turkish ships to violate Israel’s sovereignty. last time I checked this was considered a violation of international laws.

      seems every terrorist hiding behind a white dove (the IHH’s crest) and shouting “peace peace” is automatically inducted into the hall of noble human rights saints by the media. Stockholm syndrome anyone?

    8. niso Says:

      The whole world Arabs ass licking! They’re shooting only what they want! They do not show the whole picture and the world believe them! If you come to live in Israel you will see how these terrorists launching rockets into Israel and harm innocent people! From time to time Israel sends humanitarian aid to Gaza, food, electricity and all they need!
      Gilad Shalit in Gaza doubt he is alive!
      Terrorists in Gaza send their children to kill Jews, they do not love their children as they prefer innocent Jews die!

      IDF soldiers who found the Turkish ships and equipment to Gaza with “humanitarian” Kiss Live! Turks were the faces of the IDF soldiers with knives and hammers and all this in order to kill them!
      Israel offered to Turkey to check if the equipment is found hunting is Humantiri is transferred to Gaza!
      They opted for war!
      Do not go with the terrorists – will go the path of peace, along with Israel.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        niso, the world-wide reaction is shameful but to be expected given the press’s narrow perspective on the “human rights” of Palestinians, etc.

        Until more comes out of Israel in the P.R. way, people are not going to know that Israel supplies Gaza weekly (from my understanding). Obama has painted himself into a corner over Israel, since he is still holding his hand out to the Muslim world even as many of them spit in it.

        I too doubt if Shalit is still alive.

    9. News bias 3 – IHH: The ‘Humanitarian Relief’ wing of Hamas & Al Qaeda « Tony Blair Says:

      […] actually a story that has become quite familiar.’ A commenter, Elad, at an earlier post here sent me this […]

    10. jike99 Says:

      Is Israel such a pariah to intercept a flotilla of ships and activists bent on lifting Israel’s blockade of the Hamas regime (despite several warnings)? Properly elected though they may be, Hamas is nevertheless a regime whose charter, rhetoric, and behaviour are all aimed at Israel’s destruction.
      Why is it that Israel again finds itself in the center of a perfect media storm? It’s critics would argue because it’s actions merit such coverage but the facts rarely support the hostile perception it receives through simplistic imagery and narratives that fail to reflect the complexities on the ground in Israel or in Gaza. Few media outlets note the fact that Israel sends 15000 tons of goods and supplies into Gaza each week, a figure that makes the flotilla’s cargo a mere drop in the ocean. For all the discussion of a terrible “humanitarian crisis”, there is little hunger in Gaza, no starved children or famine deaths. There is only tyranny, extremism and endless war sustained by the brutal rule of Iranian backed Hamas. In relation to recent events the following points should be noted but as usual are ignored by media outlets keen to sensationalize a story, particularly one supporting their skewed perception that Israel is not the moral bastion it purports to be. I don’t know too many countries that given what Israel has had to withstand since 1948 in terms of hostility and media bias would come close to behaving in such a restrained manner. The hypocrisy of standards would be laughable if it wasn’t so contemptible or sad.
      1. The Palestinian people are not under blockade. In the West Bank, Israel has worked hard in the past year to bring prosperity and lay the foundations for peace. Most of the roadblocks are down and the West Bank’s economy is now one of the fastest growing in the world. There is only one reason that the blockade was instituted: to prevent the rearming of the brutal tyrants of Hamas, who would use those arms against Israel civilians and their own people.
      2. Civilians on the Flotilla were cynically exploited by terrorist organisations. Five ships did not act with violence toward the soldiers, and were peacefully brought to port. Only the ship that had planned in advance to brutally attack the soldiers and endanger their lives were in turn met with deadly force.
      3. There are ways to help the residents of Gaza that do not also help the Iran backed Hamas regime and terror organisations in the Gaza Strip. Supplies can be donated to UN agencies, for example. But Israel cannot allow open supply routes for war materials into Gaza.
      Israel is not asking for blind support for the Government’s position. Even within Israel there is criticism over the handling of the flotilla operation and the policy that led to it. Israel is a country that cherishes as their highest ideal the freedom to speak one’s mind and criticise. However, I for one, am happy to help defend it’ s image against those that seek to delegitimize and dehumanize it, an effort led by many who would deny it’s very right to exist. The flotilla was clearly a political act, not a humanitarian one and the ultimate goal of those who choose such premeditated violence (by provoking in the first place) is not peace but rather the destruction of Israel.

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