European Officials Rushed to Judgment and Condemned Israel’s Attempts to Stop Illegal Flotilla – The Israel Project

European Officials Rushed to Judgment and Condemned Israel’s Attempts to Stop Illegal Flotilla – The Israel Project.

U.S. Leaders More Cautious, Backed Israel as Fuller Story Emerged;
At Least 3 Among Dead Set out to Become “Martyrs”

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Several European leaders were quick to condemn Israel’s campaign Monday (May 31) to prevent an illegal flotilla from reaching Gaza – well before information and video footage showed that the self-described human rights activists aboard one of the ships were armed and violently attacked Israeli military personnel.[1] The White House, meanwhile, while mourning for the loss of life, refrained from criticizing Israel,[2] and key U.S. leaders have since defended Israel’s actions.[3]

Before important details of the incident became clear:

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he “condemns the disproportionate use of force…”[4]

  • French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said, “Nothing can justify the use of such violence, which we condemn.”.”[5]

  • UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said “there is a clear need for Israel to act with restraint and in line with international obligations. It will be important to establish the facts about this incident, and especially whether enough was done to prevent deaths and injuries.”[6]

  • Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said, “The reports of up to 15 people killed and 50 injured, if confirmed, would constitute a totally unacceptable response by the Israeli military to what was a humanitarian mission attempting to deliver much needed supplies to the people of Gaza.”[7]

  • Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere said “nothing can justify the disproportionate use of force against a civilian humanitarian initiative aiming to improve the living conditions of Gaza’s people.”[8]

In contrast, U.S. leaders waited for facts and – after learning details of the mission – said Israel’s response to the flotilla was justified.

  • Said House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), “While the majority of ships in the flotilla – 5 out of 6 – reacted peacefully when approached by Israeli Defense Forces, activists on board the Mavi Marmara were clearly bent on a violent confrontation.

“They further chose this path despite two week’s worth of repeated warnings from Israel that the ship would not be allowed to come ashore, and despite Israel’s offer to instead receive the humanitarian goods at Ashdod, inspect them there for weapons, and ensure their distribution to Palestinians in Gaza…To the extent that this act was in protest of the Gaza blockade, let’s be clear: Hamas could end the blockade at any time by recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence, and releasing Gilad Shalit.”[9]

  • House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also issued a statement: “As the facts trickle in and we learn more and more about the questionable nature of the crew aboard the Turkish-sponsored Marmara ship, it has become clear that it is false to characterize the nature of this mission as ‘humanitarian.’ Rather, this was an attempt to provoke Israel, create international uproar and force an end to an Egypt-Israel blockade meant to stop Hamas from arming.

“In keeping with its policy of delivering aid to the Palestinians, it is important to note that Israel is working to transfer the aid from the flotilla into Gaza. Yet the Hamas government, in the most cynical fashion, has blocked the aid from reaching their own people. Where is the international outrage?”[10]

  • Vice President Joe Biden told PBS’s Charlie Rose, “[The Israelis have] said, ‘Here you go. You’re in the Mediterranean. This ship – if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we’ll get the stuff into Gaza.’ So what’s the big deal here? What’s the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it’s legitimate for Israel to say, ‘I don’t know what’s on that ship. These guys are dropping… 3,000 rockets on my people… Israel has a right to know – they’re at war with Hamas – has a right to know whether or not arms are being smuggled in.”[11]

All of the ships in the flotilla defied warnings by the Israeli Navy not to violate Israeli law by landing in Gaza.[12] Israel ordered the vessels instead to dock in the nearby port city of Ashdod to unload the cargo for security inspections and subsequent delivery to Gaza.[13] Despite the refusal of all six ships to detour to Ashdod, the Mavi Marmara was the only vessel where a major confrontation took place.[14]

Israel intercepted the ship, which was carrying hundreds of Turks backed by a group with global jihadi ties.[15] Nine people were killed on board after attacking Israel military personnel with knives, clubs and other weapons.[16] Of those, three had set out on the voyage intending to become martyrs, or shahids – including three Turkish nationals – Ali Khaider Benginin, Ali Akhbar Iritilmis and Ibrahim Bilgen.[17]’

Go to the link for their own statements concerning wish to become shahid (or martyr)

And for breakdown of what Israel’s been delivering in goods to those in the Gaza Strip (1,000,000 tons)


Activist Group Has Link to Al-Qaeda

Activist Group Has Link to Al-Qaeda.

Read this article stating that the flotilla included 100 members of terrorist groups who controlled the remaining passengers.

The article below:

debkafile reports: Early Wednesday, June 2, US president Barack Obama stepped into the fast-deteriorating flotilla crisis to stop it from spinning out of control. In secret phone calls, he asked Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to release all the remaining passengers without delay as well as the six ships. He then tried to reason with the incandescent Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan, who had just branded the Israeli raid a “bloody massacre.”

Offering deep condolences for the loss of life aboard the flotilla, the US president said better ways must be found to bring humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza without undermining Israel’s security. He supported the UN Security Council’s call for “a credible, impartial and transparent investigation” of the event, but refused to condemn Israel or take the inquiry out of its hands.

debkafile reports from Ankara that Erdogan declined to be talked round, declaring that if America did not punish Israel for insolently “trampling on human honor”, Turkey would.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again threatened Israel with destruction for any action it may take anywhere and its Western supporters with international trial as war criminals.

During Tuesday, Israel deported 45 passengers, releasing more overnight and promising they would all be sent out within 48 hours.

Israel is preparing for Ankara’s next steps that would defy President Obama’s bid to find a way out of the crisis between the two former allies. In Jerusalem, Erdogan’s accusations were deemed an unfounded and unjustified assault considering the evidence that he had consorted with terrorists, including an al Qaeda offshoot, to bring Israel under pressure in support of the Palestinian extremist Hamas.

This evidence released by the IDF Monday night, June 1, described how the Turkish Marmara, the flotilla’s lead vessel, had been commandeered by terrorists indirectly supported by the Ankara government’s subsidy to the Turkish Insani Yardim Vakfi – IHH, which is listed by the American CIA as an al Qaeda-linked Islamist terrorist organization with bases in Turkey, Bosnia and Bulgaria.

Those passengers attested to more than a hundred members of terrorist organizations aboard acting like a quasi-military group with a command hierarchy, whose leader forced the other four or five hundred passengers to fall into line behind them. The group was split into sub-sections, each in charge of a section of the ship before and after it set sail from Istanbul. Its members were all armed with an assortment of chains, iron bars and knives as well as night goggles and gas masks.

Although they appeared to hail from different terrorist organizations from various countries, they were all ordered to say they belonged to the IHH.

The group kept the ship to a strict military regiment, including round-the-clock guards in the different sections of the Marmara.

When the ship was brought to Ashdod port and the passengers removed early Tuesday, the IHH members were found without identification papers of any kind. Either the Turkish authorities at Istanbul were instructed to let them embark aboard the Marmara without documents or they threw them overboard before the ship docked at Ashdod. Each had an envelope stuffed with thousands of dollars.

debkafile’s intelligence sources disclose that, when first brought in, the Turkish terror activists refused to answer questions. By Tuesday nightfall, a few began talking and admitted to being members of IHH and its ties with al Qaeda’s Balkan outfit. Throughout the interrogations, Israel intelligence was in contact with colleagues in Western services for help to identify them by means of fingerprints and other physical features.

Our counter-terror sources report that Israel must now decide whether to prosecute some of the activists, including Israeli Arabs, on board the Marmara, on charges of collaborating with an international terrorist organization.

Israel intelligence agencies too have questions to answer – principally, how they missed spotting the terrorist presence aboard the putative aid-for-Gaza convoy and let a naval force undertake the mission to divert the ships to Ashdod, without preparing them for a violent confrontation with a determined, well-organized group of violent men.


Protesters Who Attacked Israeli Soldiers aboard Ship Likely Turks – The Israel Project

Protesters Who Attacked Israeli Soldiers aboard Ship Likely Turks – The Israel Project.

Good morning. I read this article published by The Israel Project, an international non-profit org, and want to bring it to your attention.

All nine protesters killed Monday (May 31) aboard a Gaza-bound Turkish ship carrying weapons-wielding activists are believed to be Turkish nationals and were backed by the IHH, an Islamist Turkish group connected to global jihadi networks.[1] The incident occurred after Israel Navy personnel attempted to stop the ship from illegally entering Gaza and were attacked by self-described human rights activists[2] with knives, clubs and other weapons.[3] About 400 of the 700 people participating in the six-vessel flotilla were Turks.[4]

The IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi – “humanitarian relief fund”) operated the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, which was en route to Gaza as part of the flotilla on a self-described humanitarian mission. IHH has provided financial support to Iran-backed Hamas and has ties to global jihadi networks and the Muslim Brotherhood – a global umbrella Islamic organization of which Hamas is a branch – as well as mujahideen groups in Afghanistan.[5]

In 2006, a study conducted by the Danish Institute for International Studies showed that the IHH was involved in planning an al-Qaeda attack against Los Angeles International Airport in 1999. IHH reportedly acquired forged documents, enlisted operatives and delivered weapons to al-Qaeda in preparation for the attack, which was ultimately foiled.[6]

The Danish study also cites a French intelligence report which stated that in the mid-1990s the IHH sent a number of operatives into war zones in Muslim countries to get combat experience. The report said that IHH transferred money and “caches of firearms, knives and pre-fabricated explosives” to Muslim fighters in those countries.[7]

Israeli officials have expressed concern that Islamist groups that endanger Israeli national security now have considerable influence within the Free Gaza movement, the group that organized the flotilla.  According to the group’s own mission statement, We agree to adhere to the principles of nonviolence and nonviolent resistance in word and deed at all times.”[8] Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich said the group is “a front for a radical Islamist organization, probably with links to the ruling party in Turkey.”[9]

Turkey – a secular country with a Muslim majority – has been a major regional ally of Israel in the past, but the relationship has cooled recently, especially after Turkey lashed out against Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 defensive military operation in Gaza.[10] Israel carried out the operation to stop more than 10,000 rockets being fired at civilians by terrorist groups.[11] Additionally, Turkey has supported a more conciliatory approach to Iran, in contrast to the United States, Israel and other Western countries who want a new round of sanctions to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons.[12]

All of the ships in the flotilla defied warnings by the Israeli Navy not to violate Israeli law by landing in Gaza.[13] Israel ordered the vessels instead to dock in the nearby port city of Ashdod to unload the cargo for security inspections and land delivery to Gaza.[14] Despite the refusal of all six ships to detour to Ashdod, the Turkish passenger ship was the only vessel where a major confrontation took place.[15]”

Please go to the link to read the rest. Further on there’s a detailed list of the Aid that’s been going into Gaza since the end of  “Operation Cast Lead”

Israel · Living in Otef Azza · Sderot News – Why Gaza aid flotilla a media success News – Why Gaza aid flotilla a media success.

by Anat Silverman of  Sderot Media

It was exactly the kind of coverage that pro-Palestinian activists behind the Gaza aid flotilla were aiming for: “Deaths as Israeli forces storm Gaza aid ship.” Associated Press, BBC, Fox News, CNN and countless other media outlets across the world and even in Israel, carried such headlines, reporting the ensuing diplomatic crisis and worldwide condemnation that quickly followed.

Not surprisingly, this typical knee-jerk reaction by the media and international community to such Mideast confrontations, failed to report the outside circumstances that lead to the unfolding events at sea.

First, allowing the illegal flotilla to reach Hamas would have opened another corridor of weapons smuggling into Gaza, a strategy already in full operation thanks to the tunnel infrastructure between Gaza and Egypt where arms, many originating from Iran, are smuggled through intensively. Under international law, Israel has taken measures to defend its civilians from Hamas terrorism by placing a maritime blockade off the coast of Gaza to prevent such arms smuggling to Palestinian terror groups by sea route.

Indeed, the term ‘peace-activists’ which was used to describe those on board the Gaza aid flotilla fleet, was a strategic guise for those planning to employ violence against the Israeli soldiers once the fleet was stopped. Similar to Hamas’s mode of human shield tactics, where terrorists will fire against Israeli troops while hiding among women, children, and civilian populated areas, the pro-Palestinian protesters also brought along small children on the boats.

Please go to the link to read the rest.

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