Battle on the Sea

In face of the refusal of vessels supposedly on a humanitarian mission with aid for Gaza to respect a blockade on Gaza, the Israeli forces attempted to board one of the ships. Unfortunately there was loss of life in this attempt which has created outrage in public opinion around the world.

However, this footage clearly shows that the ‘humanitarians’ attacked the boarding soldiers who were on a policing mission of a known of blockade. Is this really the attitude of peaceful, humanitarians?

It cannot be stressed enough how regrettable any loss of life is, but in face of this behaviour, the crew of the ship seem at least less of an innocent victim, and more active provocateurs than they have been portrayed as.

Whilst it is understandably a very emotive issue, as the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, this regrettable situation needs to be reacted to with far more caution and investigated before portraying Israel as the bad oppressor, and the crew as innocent victims, which interpretation of events this footage seems at the very least to put into question.

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8 thoughts on “Battle on the Sea

  1. Excellent post Max,

    It is at times like this that the Western World must pull together so that we can achieve the peace which is needed by all those who live in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

    Here you can gain an idea of what the ‘peace’ activists hoped to achieve.

    “either to reach Gaza or to achieve martyrdom”

    http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/2489.htm

    Talk of the return of “Islamic fleets to the Med”

    “these are people who wish to be Martyred for the sake of Allah”

    http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/2490.htm

    Adam Jenner
    (Titles no longer fashionable).

  2. Considering that Gazan waters don’t belong to Israel, they don’t have the right to set up, much less, enforce such a blockade. Neither do they have the right to board vessels in international waters. Even overlooking all of this, the fact that they did so carrying live weaponry was foolish to the point of disbelief.

  3. What is already clear is that there were errors on both sides, and they resulted in a very regrettable loss of life. On that basis, I find the coarse style of journalism evident in the mass media, bent on demonising Israel, to be insensitive to say the least.

  4. Looks like they needed the ‘live weaponry’ to me. The boat was given plenty of opportunity to comply with the checks. Seeing the artillery haul from the boat, it’s clear why they resisted.

  5. It is an unfortunate routine of certain Palestinian supporters to use the appearance of and the presence of civilians to hide military and terrorist activity, the high profile speakers onboard are useful for credibility. Pallywood can never be underestimated for the level they sink for PR.

    Adam

  6. Oliver,

    1. A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. Such blockade has been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza, which has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea.

    2. Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea…. See more

    3. A blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral states.

    4. The naval manuals of several western countries, including the US and England recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure and set forth the various criteria that make a blockade valid, including the requirement of give due notice of the existence of the blockade.

    5. In this vein, it should be noted that Israel publicized the existence of the blockade and the precise coordinates of such by means of the accepted international professional maritime channels. Israel also provided appropriate notification to the affected governments and to the organizers of the Gaza protest flotilla. Moreover, in real time, the ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime blockade is in effect.

    6. Here, it should be noted that under customary law, knowledge of the blockade may be presumed once a blockade has been declared and appropriate notification has been granted, as above.

    7. Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. That includes both civilian and enemy vessels.

    8. A state may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law. The US Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of evading the blockade.

    9. Here we should note that the protesters indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade by means of written and oral statements. Moreover, the route of these vessels indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade in violation of international law.

    10. Given the protesters explicit intention to violate the naval blockade, Israel exercised its right under international law to enforce the blockade. It should be noted that prior to undertaking enforcement measures, explicit warnings were relayed directly to the captains of the vessels, expressing Israel’s intent to exercise its right to enforce the blockade.

    11. Israel had attempted to take control of the vessels participating in the flotilla by peaceful means and in an orderly fashion in order to enforce the blockade. Given the large number of vessels participating in the flotilla, an operational decision was made to undertake measures to enforce the blockade a certain distance from the area of the blockade.

    Now review and get back to me.

    Oh and excellent post Max – keep up the good work! :)

  7. The blockade constitutes collective punishment and fails to distinguish between civilian and military targets. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported wheelchairs, dry food items, crayons, stationary, soccer balls and musical instruments were being stopped at the border.

    It has been condemned by the UN at the various times and by the Secretary-General personally along with various aid organisations, including Amnesty International, CARE and Oxfam. And also by the Pope, although he can hardly qualify as an authority on, well, anything really in my mind.

    It may or may not be legal, but it certainly isn’t right.

    The blockade wasn’t meant to be my main point however, it was the live weaponry.

  8. Oliver,
    Situation, they did not carry live weaponary.

    A team of 10 highly trained Israeli comandos drop down onto a boat carrying 500 people with varying levels of hatred towards them.
    Using the weapons onboard the boat, the ‘peace’ activists quickly outnumber them and take them hostage. They soon arrive off the coast of Gaza where they hand them over to Hamas.
    Do you want to imagine what the Israeli response would have been bearing in mind Gilad Shalit is still held prisoner.
    Live weapons are a great leveller and when you are outnumbered by a potentially, and later provern true, mob of violent and tooled up individuals refusing to follow instructions, they are a requirement.

    Adam

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