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Thread: Israel Attacks Unarmed Aid Flotilla in International Waters, Several Dead

  1. #1
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    Angry Israel Attacks Unarmed Aid Flotilla in International Waters, Several Dead

    Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza.

    Up to 16 people were killed and more than 30 people injured when troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli Army Radio said.

    The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

    Footage from the flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

    Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

    The Israeli Army Radio said soldiers opened fire "after confronting those on board carrying sharp objects".

    Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the ships.

    They also said the ships were now being towed to the Israeli town of Haifa, instead of Ashdod to avoid waiting journalists.

    Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet - Middle East - Al Jazeera English


    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc1TM7FKD8k&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

    So reports are still early with very little possible to confirm. We don't have a full body count. At the same time, Israel is working on propaganda to justify their latest fucked-up actions.

    HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND:

    1. The Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a completely nonviolent action.

    2. The flotilla was publicized long in advance. It was fully public about its actions and its intents.

    3. All prior ships launched by the Free Gaza Movement operated in complete nonviolence.

    4. The ships were on international waters heading for the Gaza Strip. THEY NEVER CROSSED INTO ISRAELI TERRITORY. Israel claims that it does not control the Gaza Strip.

    5. The Israeli military had ZERO AUTHORITY to intercept and board the ships at all.

    6. This is not the first time nonviolent activists have been killed by Israel. Aside from the killings of Tom Hurndall and Rachel Corrie in 2003, several Palestinians have been killed by Israel during nonviolent demonstrations.

    7. Israel denies that the 3-year Gaza Strip blockade has any negative humanitarian impact on the 1.5 million people living in Gaza, contradicting every credible human rights report -- most recently reiterated in the just-released Amnesty International 2010 Report, which states that Israel's blockade is a violation of international law. It has recently been revealed that Israel even determined the number of grams and calories of each kind of food each Gazan should be allowed to consume, broken down by age and sex.

    8. A previous ship from the Free Gaza Movement that carried former US Congressperson Cynthia McKinney was rammed by an Israeli military boat, again on international waters. The US government did nothing.

    9. The United States and we are totally complicit in these Israeli actions.

    http://witnessgaza.com/

    IHH Insani Yardim Vakfi - live streaming video powered by Livestream
    Last edited by Sasha; May 31st, 2010 at 10:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Well, you're just anti semitic is all. You're also a Nazi. Criticizing Israel means you are personally responsible for gassing 6 million Jews 60 years ago.

    I hope you're happy.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  3. #3
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    This is such a dumb move by the Israelis. The Uk is fucked off beyond words, mainly because there were British citizens onboard. They just love to stir it up.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Israeli prime minister cancels White House meeting - Yahoo! News

    JERUSALEM Israel's prime minister has called off a planned visit to the White House to deal with a crisis over a botched naval raid that killed 10 pro-Palestinian activists.

    Netanyahu, who is in Canada, was set to travel to Washington to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday. But his office says he decided to return home early after Monday's commando raid.

    The commandos intercepted a flotilla of activists trying to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip. The deadly crackdown has drawn widespread international condemnations.

    JERUSALEM (AP) Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday, killing at least 10 passengers in a predawn raid that set off worldwide condemnation and a diplomatic crisis.

    Israel said its commandos were attacked by knives, clubs and live fire from two pistols wrested from soldiers after they rappelled from a helicopter to board one of the vessels.

    Dozens of activists and at least 10 Israeli soldiers were wounded in the bloody confrontation in international waters.

    Reaction was swift and harsh, with a massive protest breaking out in Turkey, Israel's longtime Muslim ally, which unofficially supported the mission. Ankara announced it would recall its ambassador and call off military exercises with the Jewish state.

    The bloody showdown came at a sensitive time in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to meet Tuesday with President Barack Obama to discuss the next round in U.S.-led indirect negotiations. From Toronto, Netanyahu spoke by telephone with top Israeli officials and expressed his "full backing" for the military, according to a statement from the army.

    The White House said in a written statement that the United States "deeply regrets" the loss of life and injuries and was working to understand the circumstances surrounding this "tragedy."

    The activists were headed to Gaza on a mission meant to draw attention to the blockade, which Israel and Egypt imposed after the militant Hamas group seized the territory of 1.5 million Palestinians in 2007.

    There were conflicting accounts of what happened early Monday, with activists claiming the Israelis fired first and Israel insisting its forces fired in self defense. Communications to the ships were cut off shortly after the raid began.

    An Israeli commando who spoke to reporters on a naval vessel off the coast, and who was identified only by the first letter of his name, "A," said he and his comrades were surprised by a group of Arabic-speaking men when they rapelled onto the deck.

    He said some of the soldiers, taken off guard, were stripped of their helmets and equipment and thrown from the top deck to the lower deck, and that some had even jumped overboard to save themselves. At one point one of the passengers seized one of the soldiers' weapons and opened fire.

    A high-ranking naval official displayed a box confiscated from the boat containing switchblades, slingshots, metal balls and metal bats. "We prepared (the soldiers) to deal with peace activists, not to fight," he said. Most of the 10 dead were Turkish, he added.

    A Turkish website showed video of pandemonium on board one of the ships, with activists in orange life jackets running around as some tried to help an activist apparently unconscious on the deck. The site also showed video of an Israeli helicopter flying overhead and Israeli warships nearby.

    Turkey's NTV showed activists beating one Israeli soldier with sticks as he rappelled from a helicopter onto one of the boats.

    Activists said Israeli naval commandos stormed the ships after ordering them to stop in international waters, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from Gaza's coast.

    An Al-Jazeera reporter on one of the Turkish ships said the Israelis fired at the vessel before boarding it. The pan-Arab satellite channel reported by telephone from the Turkish ship leading the flotilla that Israeli navy forces fired at the ship and boarded it, wounding the captain.

    "These savages are killing people here, please help," a Turkish television reporter said.

    The broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, "Everybody shut up!"

    In a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel's military chief of staff and navy commander said the troops were able to take over the five other boats without incident and all of the violence was centered on the boat carrying most of the flotilla's passengers, the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara.

    Troops were attacked, said Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and an unspecified number of troops were helicoptered to hospital suffering from gunshots, knife wounds and blows.

    "To me it is clear without a doubt, judging by what I saw and what I heard in the first reports from the soldiers, that in light of the danger to human life this violence required the use of weapons, and in my opinion the soldiers acted as they should have in this situation," Ashkenazi said.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed regret for the loss of life, but called IHH, a Turkish group organizing the sea convoy, a violent organization "operating under cover of humanitarian activity."

    The ships were being towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod, and wounded were evacuated by helicopter to Israeli hospitals, officials said. Two ships had reached port by midday.

    Many of the passengers were from European countries.

    The European Union deplored what it called excessive use of force and demanded an investigation by Israel. The EU said the blockade of Gaza, now in its fourth year, is "politically unacceptable," and called for an immediate, sustained opening of crossings into the Hamas-controlled territory, according to a statement by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

    Turkey called on the U.N. Security Council to convene in an emergency session about Israel.

    Thousands marched in protest in Istanbul, some setting Israeli flags on fire after trying to storm the Israeli consulate. Israel quickly advised to its citizens to avoid travel to Turkey. In neighboring Jordan, hundreds demonstrated in the capital Amman to protest the Israeli action and demand that their government breaks diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

    Israeli security forces were on alert across the country for possible protests.

    There were no details on the identities of the casualties, or on the conditions of some of the more prominent people on board, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 85.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli "aggression," declared three days of mourning across the West Bank and called on the U.N. Security Council and Arab League to hold emergency sessions on the incident.

    Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the rival Hamas government in Gaza, condemned the "brutal" Israeli attack and called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to intervene.

    In Uganda, Ban condemned the deaths of the activists and called for a "thorough" investigation. "Israel must provide an explanation," he said.

    The activists were headed to Gaza on a mission meant to draw attention to a 3-year-old Israeli blockade of the coastal territory. Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after Hamas, which it considers a terrorist group, violently seized the territory. Critics say the blockade has unfairly hurt Gaza's 1.5 million people.

    Before the ships set sail from waters off the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus on Sunday, Israel had urged the flotilla not to try to breach the blockade and offered to transfer some of the cargo to Gaza from an Israeli port, following a security inspection.

    The violent takeover threatened to deal yet another blow to Israel's international image, already tarnished by war crimes accusations in Gaza and its blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory.

    Organizers included people affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian group that often sends international activists into battle zones, and the IHH.

    The Turkish group is an Islamic humanitarian group that is based in Istanbul but operates in several other countries. Israel recently arrested the IHH's West Bank operative, but said his arrest was not related to the planned aid mission.

    Hasan Naiboglu, the Turkish maritime affairs undersecretary, told the Anatolia news agency that Israel had jammed communications with the ships. He accused Israel of violating international law by carrying out the raid in international waters.

    Turkey had unofficially supported the aid mission and has been vocally critical of Israeli military operations against Palestinians in Gaza.

    The flotilla of three cargo ships and three passenger ships carrying 10,000 tons of aid and 700 activists was carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials.

    This is the ninth time that the Free Gaza movement has tried to ship in humanitarian aid to Gaza since August 2008.

    Israel has allowed ships through five times, but has blocked them from entering Gaza waters since a three-week military offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers in January 2009.

    The latest flotilla was the largest to date.

  5. #5
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Oh boohoo Israeli soldiers were injured from illegally boarding ships in international waters.

    Next time try sticking to your territory
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Now let's see if Israel gets away with these murders. Turkey is a member of NATO and they are pissed.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Pfft. The US will prevent any kind of justice from happening, like usual.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    ^^Indeed.

    (updated below - Update II - Update III)
    Late last night, Israel attacked a flotilla of ships in international waters carrying food, medicine and other aid to Gaza, killing at least 10 civilians on board and injuring at least 30 more (many reports now put the numbers at 19 dead and 60 injured). The Israeli Defense Forces is claiming that its soldiers were attacked with clubs, knives and "handguns" when they boarded the ship without permission, but none of the Israeli soldiers were killed while two are reported injured. Those on the ships emphatically state that the IDF came on board shooting. An IDF spokesman said: "Our initial findings show that at least 10 convoy participants were killed."

    The six-ship flotilla was carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid along with 600 people, all civilians, which included 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and an elderly Holocaust survivor, Hedy Epstein, 85. In December, 2008, Israel, citing rocket attacks from Hamas, launched a 22-day, barbaric attack on Gaza, bombarding a trapped population, killing hundreds of innocent civilians (1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed), and devastating Gazan society. A U.N. report released earlier this month documented that, as a result of the blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel and Egypt (the two largest recipients of U.S. aid), "[m]ost of the property and infrastructure damaged . . . was still unrepaired 12 months later."
    The flotilla attacked by Israel last night was carrying materials such as cement, water purifiers, and other building materials, much of which Israel refuses to let pass into Gaza. At the end of 2009, a U.N. report found that "insufficient food and medicine is reaching Gazans, producing a further deterioration of the mental and physical health of the entire civilian population since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against the territory," and also "blamed the blockade for continued breakdowns of the electricity and sanitation systems due to the Israeli refusal to let spare parts needed for repair get through the crossings."
    It hardly seemed possible for Israel -- after its brutal devastation of Gaza and its ongoing blockade -- to engage in more heinous and repugnant crimes. But by attacking a flotilla in international waters carrying humanitarian aid, and slaughtering at least 10 people, Israel has managed to do exactly that. If Israel's goal were to provoke as much disgust and contempt for it as possible, it's hard to imagine how it could be doing a better job.
    It is appropriate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with President Obama on Tuesday in Washington, because -- as always -- it is only American protection of Israel that permits the Israelis to engage in conduct like this. Initial reports speculate that Netanyahu would cancel that meeting in order to return to Israel in light of this attack. But there would be something quite symbolically appropriate about having the U.S. stand at the side of Israel in the aftermath of this latest massacre, because it is only the massive amounts of U.S. financial and military aid, and endless diplomatic protection, that enables Israel to act with impunity as a rogue and inhumane state. So complete is the devotion of the U.S. Congress to the mission of serving and protecting Israel that it even overwhelmingly condemned the Goldstone report, which found that Israel and Hamas had both commited war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during the Israeli attack on Gaza (the U.S. Congress, of course, never condemned the Israeli war crimes themselves -- only the Report which documented those crimes). Israeli actions are a direction reflection on, and by-product of, the U.S. Government, because it is the U.S. which enables and protects the behavior.
    The one silver lining from these incidents is that the real face of Israel becomes increasingly revealed and undeniable. Not even the most intense propaganda systems can prettify a lethal military attack on ships carrying civilians and humanitarian aid to people living in some of the most wretched and tragic conditions anywhere in the world. It is crystal clear to anyone who looks what Israel has become, and the only question left is how will the rest of the world -- beginning with their American patrons -- will react.
    As Americans suffer extreme cuts in education for their own children and a further deterioration in basic economic security (including Social Security), will they continue to acquiesce to the transfer of billions of dollars every year to the Israelis, who -- unlike Americans -- enjoy full, universal health care coverage? How is the revulsion justifiably provoked by this latest Israeli crime going to impact American efforts in the Muslim world (as but one of many examples to come, Al Jazeera reports that "Moqtada al-Sadr has called for a large anti-Israel rally across from the Green Zone in Baghdad")? How much longer will Americans be willing to pay the extreme prices for its endlessly entangled "alliance" with its prime Middle Eastern client state, whose capacity for criminal and inhumane acts appears limitless?
    * * * * *
    On a day when the meaning of "heroism" is often discussed, the people on these ships who tried to deliver aid to Gazans, knowing that they could easily find themselves in a confrontation with the Israeli Navy but doing it anyway in order to bring attention to the extraordinary injustice and cruelty of the blockade, are pure, unadulterated heroes.

    UPDATE: Regarding the blockade of Gaza itself -- about which "Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister [said when it was first imposed]: 'The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger'" -- this post documents just some of the effects, with ample links to U.N. reports, including:

    * since the intensification of the siege in June 2007, "the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed" (More than 80 UN and aid agencies [.pdf])
    * "61% of people in the Gaza Strip are … food insecure," of which "65% are children under 18 years" (UN FAO)
    * since June 2007, "the number of Palestine refugees unable to access food and lacking the means to purchase even the most basic items, such as soap, school stationery and safe drinking water, has tripled" (UNRWA)
    * "in February 2009, the level of anemia in babies (9-12 months) was as high as 65.5%" (UN FAO)
    The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl, whose entire political world view is shaped by his devotion to Israel, today criticizes President Obama for rejecting "Bush's conclusion that the promotion of democracy and human rights is inseparable from the tasks of defeating al-Qaeda and establishing a workable international order." That's ironic, because if "human rights" played any role whatsoever in American foreign policy, the massive American aid and other protection for Israel which Diehl cherishes above all else would instantaneously disappear.

    UPDATE II: Just ponder what we'd be hearing if Iran had raided a humanitarian ship in international waters and killed 15 or so civilians aboard.

    UPDATE III: One of the ships attacked by Israel belonged to a Turkish aid organization, and it's been reported that among the dead are at least two Turks. Turkey today "warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy." Among other things, Turkey is a NATO member with increasing tensions with Israel. Amidst worldwide protests aimed at Israel, along with possible internal unrest if (as has been reported) an Israeli Arab leader was among the wounded or dead, it's possible that this incident could produce some serious unforeseen consequences for the Israelis.

    Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Israel said its commandos were attacked by knives, clubs and live fire from two pistols wrested from soldiers after they rappelled from a helicopter to board one of the vessels.
    Well, what the hell did they think was going to happen when they decided to storm the vessel? That they were going to be given flowers and gifts.

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Well, you're just anti semitic is all. You're also a Nazi. Criticizing Israel means you are personally responsible for gassing 6 million Jews 60 years ago.

    I hope you're happy.
    Ha ha. I was just discussing this shit with my older sister, we have some funny and sarcastic discussions regarding politics and world issues. Back when there were murmurs about Obama running for POTUS I said "So, you gonna vote for that blackish guy or what?" Just goofing around. Regarding Israel a while back I said "God, Israel is such a dick." They're beyond douchebag or dickhole at this point, ugh. I don't understand all this diplomacy shit; when countries are acting like this I wish there was a hand of god or something (UN???) that would bitch slap them and say "Hey, asshole, cut it the fuck out." and then all would be well. Would have been nice before the US went and started a never ending war.
    KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GOD DAMNED HONEY!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on, let's have lots of drinks.

  11. #11
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Good. I hope the Turks put a shot into an Israeli hull next time and sink her.

    Let Israel and the US deal with a fully modern and well equipped military for a change instead of slapping around 3rd world nations.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  12. #12
    Elite Member kasippu's Avatar
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    Shit this is not good not good at all. What is Israel trying to do?

  13. #13
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    ^^Murder people they don't like and get away with it.

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    Elite Member kasippu's Avatar
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    Oh but will they get away with it and if not ....

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    A military attack in international waters on an unarmed flotilla on a well publicized, humanitarian mission. The audacity. The...criminality..is stunning.

    By US military standards, Turkey has every right to consider this attack an act of war [I am not suggesting it will, just noting the asymmetry]. Turkey is a NATO country. I truly hope the Turks insist on a criminally-binding international inquiry which the Israeis are compelled to participate in by the 28 NATO countries. IOW, I hope Israel has now well and truly screwed the pooch.

    Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty:

    The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

    Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

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