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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘blockade’

Family of American Killed in Flotilla Raid Suing Ehud Barak, But Accounts Suggest Not Guilty

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) The parents of a young American who lived in Turkey and was killed on board the Marmara in the flotilla to Gaza in 2010, filed a civil suit in a Los Angeles court against Ehud Barak, who served as Israel’s Defense Minister at the time. The plaintiffs allege that their son, Furkan Doğan, was shot five times, once in the head at close range.

Furkan Doğan was born to ethnic Turkish parents in Troy, New York on October 20, 1991, precisely 24 years to the day prior to the lawsuit. He moved to Turkey at the age of two. His father, Ahmet Doğan, graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an MBA in accounting, and works as assistant professor of accounting at Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey.

Doğan was not too interested in politics, according to the NY Times’ Roger Cohen. It’s not clear, then, why he decided to participate in the Gaza Flotilla. His father said “Furkan was a US citizen only and he never thought that he would be killed since he was an American citizen.” But his final diary entry written on the ship, reveals a zeal for martyrdom: “It is the last hours to martyrdom, insha’Allah [God willing]. I am wondering if there is a more beautiful thing. The more beautiful thing is only my mother, but I’m not sure. The comparison is very difficult. Martyrdom or my mother? Now, the hall has been evacuated. So far people were not serious, but they have become serious recently.”

According to Reuters, the civil case is being brought by some of the same human rights lawyers who have been attempting, to push on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague to launch a criminal investigation of the Marmara case.

According to IDF accounts consolidated by Wikipedia, the MV Mavi Marmara was part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH). It claimed to be carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, in an attempt to ram through the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel, which questioned the humanitarian motives of flotilla organizers, said they were welcome to unload their cargo in Ashdod, in southern Israel, to be trucked to Gaza following an inspection—but they refused.

On May 30, at 11 PM, the Israeli Navy’s three warships, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, and 71 commandos made contact with the flotilla, some 120 miles northwest of Gaza, 80 miles off the coast of southern Lebanon, in international waters, and ordered the ships to follow them to port in Israel or be boarded.

After a failed attempt to board the Marmara from speedboats, the Navy sent in the Black Hawk with a 15-man assault team on board. A rope was dropped from the helicopter to the ship’, but three passengers tied it to the deck. A second rope was dropped and the soldiers started sliding down to the deck. Each soldier was met by a group of violent passengers who assaulted him with makeshift weapons. The commandos responded with their less-lethal weapons and tried to physically fight off the passengers.

Three Israelis were captured. The first, the commanding officer of the assault team, was roping down from the helicopter when he was attacked by ten men before his feet hit the deck. He was beaten across his body and head, then picked up and thrown to the lower deck, where he was attacked by a dozen passengers. They beat and choked him, removed his bulletproof vest and sidearm and smashed his helmet, and shoved him into a passenger hall below deck.

Hamas Clamps Blockade on Mobile Phone Service

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Hamas has shut down the offices of the sole mobile phone company Jawwal, which is part of a Palestinian Authority conglomerate called the Palestinian Telecommunication Company, or Paltel.

It was founded by billionaire Mohammed Mustafa, one of Mahmoud Abbas’ confidantes, and is part of an empire that would put Donald Trump to shame, if he knows the meaning of the word

The Ma’an News Agency reported, “A Hamas police vehicle arrived at Jawwal’s Gaza headquarters early in the morning and prevented employees from entering or opening the branch…. Another company branch was closed in central Gaza City.”

Paltel executive director Ammar al-Iker said that the closure increases the suffering of Palestinians, Ma’an added, in its name or his name, that the Arabs in Gaza are “under Israeli blockade.”

The land blockade was lifted long ago, except for items that can clearly be used for terror, and the maritime blockade has been upheld as legal by the United Nations.

Egypt has clamped a blockade most of the time on the Rafah crossing into Gaza, and now Hamas has enforced a blockade on itself against mobile phone service.

Destruction of Tunnel Smuggling Driving Gaza Drug Addicts Crazy

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Thousands of Gaza Arabs, including young teenagers, are going out of their minds because Egypt’s destruction of smuggling tunnels has left them without an addictive painkiller. The London Times reported.

Withdrawal systems have driven patients to the edge of suicide after not being able to able to obtain Tramadol, an addictive prescription drug that was bought from tunnel smugglers at one-tenth the price  on the local black market.

The Hamas Health Ministry told the newspaper that the heroin-like effect of Tramadol has resulted in a 50 percent increase of drug addicts seeking help. The drug not only is 10 times more expensive than it was before Egypt started to close the tunnels, but it also is difficult to find even on the black market

The drug dopes patients so that they can tune out their living hell.

Gaza once was a decent place to live and earn a living under the “occupation” after Egypt gladly surrendered the  hell-hole known as the Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War in 1967.

Israel gave Gaza residents their first opportunity to work in Israel, work under decent conditions for Jewish farmers in Gaza, and operate their own affairs to a limited extent instead under the aegis of Cairo.

Yasser Arafat turned everything around in the late 1980s and introduced terrorism as a way of life.

However,  the London Times report blames Israel – who else? – for the painkiller crisis even though it was Egypt and not Israel that is on the tunnel warpath.

The logic, so to speak, works like this:

Gazans use Tramadol because of “the hardship of living in the war-torn territory under an eight-year Israeli blockade,” referring to the blockade that has been all but lifted except for suicide belts and other materials that Hamas would call humanitarian aid. Egypt has used an iron fist at the Rafah land crossing to enforce an off-an-on blockade.

The London Times continued to connect dots from different pages by blaming the ” worsening economic conditions in the aftermath of the summer war [with Israel],” referring to the latest in a series of min-wars that Hamas has launched.

The newspaper took the time to drill into readers’ psyches about “the 51-day war with Israel last year, in which 2,200 Palestinians were killed and more than 17,000 homes destroyed, [which] boosted the popularity of the ‘escapist’ drug.”

Of course, in the eyes of the leftists, Israel is to blame for Hamas’ war because it still “occupies” Jerusalem’s Old City, Efrat, Maaleh Adumim and other areas previously uninhabited and which the Palestinian Authority makes out as part their ancient homeland that Arafat manufactured.

In the eyes of the bleeding heart liberals, Israel also is to blame for beating back the Egyptians in the 1967 war, which perhaps was caused by having become a country in 1948.

Now that Gaza have to live without addictive painkillers and with the misery of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, it would be interesting to see the results of a free election, which is only theoretical since it cannot happen under Hamas.

The supposed election would give them the choice to return to Egyptian rule, remain under the Hamas regime, or go back to the “occupation” when their economic and political freedoms were blossoming.

Given the last 20 years of fear and loathing under the Palestinian Authority, Gazans might prefer a fourth alternative – Tramadol.

Pro-Palestinian Activists Blockade ZIM Ship at Port of Oakland

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The glimmer of the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State, or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) may have already reached America’s shores, although U.S. citizens might not yet realize it. Dock workers at the port of Oakland have been afraid to brave the ire of Islamist protesters in California, and instead opted to stay off the job.

It appears that weeks-long planning by Palestinian Arab immigrants, their descendants and supporters who hate Israel and the Jews has paid off; the consolidated group of some 70 organizations has essentially seized control over the port in Oakland, California.

For the second day in a row, pro-Gaza protesters led by Palestinian Arab groups successfully blockaded the Piraeus, a ZIM Integrated Shipping Services vessel, at the Oakland port.

Demonstrators said they were protesting Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza. But more than 300,000 Israelis are still internally displaced by Hamas terror.

Operation Protective Edge was launched to silence the incessant rocket, missile and mortar fire that has rained down on southern Israel for years.

Several hundred Oakland protesters gathered again in a picket line Sunday after the ZIM vessel docked at about 5:30 pm. That was some 24 hours after it was forced to circle in the Pacific Ocean to avoid a mob of thousands at the same port the previous day.

A few dozen police officers monitored the picket line, according to KTVU TV, which interviewed 26-year-old Mohamed Shehk, media and communications director of the Oakland-based ‘Critical Resistance’ group.

“As a Palestinian, I have always been a strong supporter for the Palestinian cause for liberation,” Shehk told the news outlet. He added that he also supports ‘various movements of liberation around the world.’

“We will not stand for the murdering of Gazans,” he said.

The ultimate goal of the blockade, said protesters, is to stop the company from unloading at the Port of Oakland altogether. They plan similar blockades against ZIM in Tacoma and Seattle, organizers said.

The ILWU dockworkers’ union chose to honor the picket line and refused to unload the vessel. It’s not the first time; a similar blockade against ZIM was backed by the union in 2010.

Oddly, Saturday’s massive anti-Israel rally was covered only by independent bloggers and the UK-based newspaper, The Guardian. And Sunday’s blockade was covered by KTUV and KPIX. It didn’t even raise a blip on the national scene.

On Saturday, activists gathered early at a nearby transit station, the paper reported, led by 21-year-old Palestinian Sameh Ayesh, a member of the San Francisco-based Arab Youth Organization.

One of those involved in organizing the demonstration, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) executive director Lara Kiswani, said her organization was currently discussing “how to escalate our tactics.”

The paper reported that as protesters reached the port entrance, a line of police officers was standing in formation. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” the mob shouted, playing on the recent news coverage of police brutality against rioting protesters in the town of Ferguson, Missouri following an lethal incident of police brutality.

Speaking with The Guardian, Shehk tried hard to link the incident to Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza. “On Twitter, we’ve seen people in Gaza tweet to protesters in Ferguson how to cope with teargas,” he said.

Gimme a break.

Government May Have to Decide if Money Buys Peace or War with Hamas

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

An idea on the negotiating table in Cairo that tax money collected by Israel for the Palestinian Authority would end up in the pockets of Hamas in exchange in exchange for a supposed truce was debunked Tuesday by key coalition government partner Naftali Bennett, who said the scheme is nothing short of extortion.

The Minister of the Economy and chairman of the Jewish Home Party, the third largest in the coalition, said the idea is one of “Pay us – we’ll shoot at your later; don’t pay us – we’ll shoot at you now.”

Israel previously has insisted that all money it transfers to the Palestinian Authority cannot reach Hamas, which is a fiction because the Palestinian Authority ends up paying for salaries of Hamas government “workers,” which includes “civil servants” with machine guns.

The government in the past also has used the tax money to pay off a huge debt owed to Israel Electric Corp.(IEC) by the electric company in the Palestinian Authority.

Most of the “news” on negotiations in Cairo between Hamas and Israel, mediated by Egypt in order to maintain the illusion that Israel and Hamas do not recognize each other, is based on the usual Hamas hyperbole and threats, and on more substantiated reports.

The guts of a proposed agreement reportedly would extend the 72-hour ceasefire due to expire on midnight Wednesday.

Israel would perform a very poor trick of magic by handing over the money to Hamas through a third party to fool itself that it is not paying Hamas directly.

That idea sent Bennett through the ceiling. “Extortion” and “dangerous” were only two of the unflattering adjectives he expressed. He warned that the money will be used by terrorists “who are digging under our feet… It’s a ‘calm for money to terrorists formula.’ You don’t pay Hamas, you defeat them.”

Bennett said he will fight the proposal if it comes to the Cabinet for a vote.

Israel reportedly is willing to ease the blockade without removing it completely, and Egypt would do the same at the border in the divided city of Rafah. Israel also is seriously considering extending the permitted fishing zone to six nautical miles and to allow, once again, construction materials to move into Gaza under supervision.

As with previous ceasefire agreements and concessions on the blockade, supervisory measures are questionable.

Hamas exploited Israel’s previous agreement to allow cement and other “dual-use” materials into Gaza and used them to build tunnels for terrorists, among other activities that were at the expense of building houses and schools. Even then, Hamas has used schools and homes, as well as mosques and hospitals, as rocket launching pads, so all “dual purpose” materials ultimately had only one purpose – terror.

Officially, “no progress” has been made in the talks. This is expected because Hamas always likes to keep everyone in suspense until the last minute, or even after the last minute.

For good measure, it has publicly threatened that any extended ceasefire would simply be a temporary measure until the next war. That can be dismissed as rhetoric in the short-term, but in the long-term, Hamas means what it says. Its existence depends on attacking Israel. If it does not, it risks losing its power to rival terrorist groups who would be happy to take over the task.

One of the most dangerous elements of a possible longer-term agreement for a truce is allowing security forces from the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, to supervise the “Philadlphi” smuggling route at and near Rafah.

Abbas and Hamas have accepted each other as peace partners in a new unity government, which has carefully placed “technocrats” in the government, a camouflage for the grip over Gaza by Hamas and its full-fledged army.

Hamas Isolated as Egypt Razes Homes to Clear 500-Yard Wide Buffer

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

It has been going on for several months, but now it’s official, as reported by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, Egyptian border forces destroyed 10 smuggling tunnels and seven homes in the Sinai on Saturday as part of their new campaign to create a 500 yard wide buffer zone (5 football fields) along the border with the Gaza Strip.

The campaign began with a military operation in the border town of Rafah, where tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip were targeted in border neighborhoods, an Egyptian security source told Ma’an.

The source added that the tunnels were destroyed and the homes they were located in were blown up. The move was part of a wider campaign to set up a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in Rafah that would extend 300 meters in populated areas and 500 meters in open areas.

If anyone was wondering what motivated the Egyptians to act so emphatically to separate themselves from the Hams governed Gaza Strip, the same source also told Ma’an that Egyptian army forces on Saturday successfully foiled three explosive devices placed in military vehicles and armored cars in Sheikh Zuwaid, including two that were placed near the Sheikh Zuweid Hospital and a third on the road to a nearby village south of Sheikh Zuewid.

They’ve had enough of the pesky Palestinian terrorists spreading death wherever they turn, so they cut them off. Let Turkey help them.

The source added that Egyptian army forces raided “militant strongholds” in the village of al-Kharuba south of Sheikh Zuweid and destroyed three homes and five “hideouts.” Oh, and this is rich: they also destroyed an olive grove that was reportedly used to hide terrorists following attacks taking place on the nearby road to Rafah International crossing.

Ma’an reminded readers that until July 2013 tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt provided a vital lifeline for the territory which was facing a “crippling Israeli blockade” since 2006. But since the coup against Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi in July, Egypt has strictly enforced a blockade of its own and caved in the tunnels.

Egyptian Maj. Gen. Ahmad Ibrahim said last October that nearly 800 tunnels had been destroyed since the Morsi toppling, an estimated 95 percent of previously existing tunnels. Last night 10 more went under.

A day before the Egyptian action, during a rally in Rafah, Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior spokesman for Hamas, rebuked Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from negotiations with the U.S. and Israel, as the talks only serve to “terminate the question of Palestine and what is left of Palestinian rights and principles.”

In other words, by ostensibly reaching a resolution for the Palestinian’s plight the imagined peace deal would effectively end the struggle for a resolution to the Palestinian plight. Must be a chicken and egg thing.

“Nobody has authorized you (Abbas) to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, or on behalf of Hamas or any other faction,” Abu Zuhri said. “Why don’t you tell the truth about what is going on in the secret negotiations? If you are honest, go out to your people and tell the truth and give them details.”

Back in 2006, Sami Abu Zuhri was trying to cross from Egypt into Gaza in Rafah, when he dropped a money belt with 900,000 euros in it. The law is one must declare any sum above $2,000. Abu Zuhri said it was all private donations. For the orphans.

Anyway, the Hamas spokesman also declared his movement would regard any international military presence within a future Palestinian state as “occupation” forces. So American and NATO troops are as bad as the IDF as far as Hamas is concerned.

Erdogan: Israel Behind Egypt Coup

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel was behind last month’s military coup in Egypt.

Erdogan told a meeting of the provincial chairs of his ruling Justice and Development, or AKP, party that he has evidence that Israel was involved in the July 3 overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the Turkish Hurriyet news service reported.

“Who is behind this? Israel. We have evidence,” the prime minister said, according to Hurriyet.

He cited as proof a statement by a French intellectual he identified as Jewish, who told the Israeli justice minister during a visit to France before Egypt’s 2011 elections, “The Muslim Brotherhood will not be in power even if they win the elections. Because democracy is not the ballot box,” Hurriyet reported.

The White House condemned Erdogan’s remarks.

“Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters later Tuesday.

Turkey downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and later expelled Israel’s ambassador following the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in May 2010 that resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish nationals in a confrontation with Israeli Navy commandos. The ship was trying to evade Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan in March for the incident, and representatives of the countries have met for reconciliation talks. The talks reportedly are held up over the amount of compensation that Israel is to pay to the families of the Turkish casualties and how the payments are to be characterized.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/erdogan-israel-behind-egypt-coup/2013/08/21/

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