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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘blockade’

Turkish Parliament Reviews Normalization Deal with Israel

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

The agreement to normalize ties between Turkey and Israel was formally submitted Wednesday (Aug. 17) to the Turkish Parliament in Ankara for review and a final vote of approval, or not, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The debate on the issue has been delayed by several weeks due to last month’s failed attempt by part of the Turkish military to overthrow the government. Thousands of government employees and high-ranking officials were purged in the wake of the incident.

Tourism has taken a serious hit as a result of the coup and the ongoing purges, with numerous countries issuing advisories to its citizens against traveling to Istanbul, further damaging an already compromised economy. For this and other reasons, it is becoming more urgent than ever for Turkey to complete its agreement with Israel and improve its ties with Russia — which it is working on — as well as with others in the region.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a televised interview a week ago (Aug. 11) that the deal would be completed and signed before September, finalized by the Turkish Parliament “as soon as possible.”

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News quoted Cavusoglu as saying during a joint news conference following a meeting with Palestinian Authority Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ankara that Turkey is ‘eager to contribute to the Palestinian issue and the Middle East process.’ Cavusoglu added that Turkey had always ‘advocated a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue and would continue to contribute to permanent peace in the region.

“Now we have started a normalization process with Israel,” he said, according to Hurriyet. “According to our latest agreement, the two countries will mutually appoint ambassadors. After this step we will continue to support the Palestinian issue and the Middle East peace process.”

Upon ratification of the agreement by the Turkish Parliament, the two nations will exchange ambassadors to fully restore diplomatic ties. Turkey reportedly plans to build a hospital in Gaza and ratchet up efforts to build an industrial zone project in Jenin.

The deal to restore ties between the two countries was signed on June 28 after numerous repeated attempts to heal the wounds of a breach after a 2010 illegal flotilla that included a Turkish ship attempted to break the marine blockade on Gaza. Israeli commandos boarded the ship to redirect the vessel to Ashdod port, and a clash with armed “activists” ensued, leaving 10 Turks dead and numerous IDF commandos wounded.

Israeli and Turkish delegates spent the better part of 2015 and 2016 working on an agreement to renew the ties between their two nations.

At the end, Israel agreed to pay Turkey $20 million (17.8 million euros) within 25 days, in compensation to the families of those who died in the 2010 clash.

The legal case in Turkish court, targeting the Israeli commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel, will also be dropped, according to Anadolu news agency. In addition, individual Israeli nations will not be held criminally or financially liable for the incident.

Hana Levi Julian

Hamas Exploits Easing of Gaza Blockade to Smuggle More Weapons

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Palestinian terrorist groups continue to exploit Israel’s relaxation of Gaza’s naval blockade to smuggle weapons meant to strike the Jewish state, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, said in a Times of Israel report.

Israel’s Navy detained a Hamas-affiliated operative last month, accused of smuggling weapons and outlawed building materials into the Gaza Strip. Under interrogation, Salim Jamal Hassan Naman admitted that he helped smuggle in “materials used in the production of rockets, like fiberglass resin,” Shin Bet said.

In April, Israel allowed Gaza’s boats to operate up to nine nautical miles from the shores, extending the permitted distance from six miles. Naman was detained after deviating beyond the new threshold. Though the operative is most closely aligned with Hamas, he acknowledged that the smuggling operation involved supplying weapons to various Palestinian terrorist organizations.

Naman also revealed Hamas’ plans to exploit Gazan fisherman as a “camouflage” for the group’s terrorist operations.

“The information revealed in this interrogation, along with the interrogations of the other Hamas terror operatives who have been arrested recently, reveal another aspect of the numerous efforts made by Hamas in order to prepare itself for advancing its violent terrorist actions. This time, it’s through taking advantage of the relief provided by Israel for the population of Gazan fisherman,” the Shin Bet said.

Hamas continues to focus its efforts on enhancing its terrorist capabilities to confront Israel militarily and terrorize its population. Instead of utilizing the extra nautical miles off the coast to the benefit of Gazan fisherman, Hamas squanders the opportunity to improve the Strip’s economic situation. Whether by rebuilding its underground tunnel infrastructure or exploiting naval smuggling opportunities, Hamas clearly prioritizes its violent Jihad against Israel over the well-being of its citizens

IPT-Investigative Project on Terrorism

New Gaza Flotilla Coalition Strategy: A Ship Full of Women

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

(JNi.media) The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) met in Barcelona on Sunday to evaluate past actions and to plan for future work, “in light of the extremely deteriorated situation in Palestine, the Israeli oppression and the continued blockade of Gaza.”

The following strategic plan was adopted: in 2016 a Women’s Boat to Gaza will sail to challenge the Israeli blockade; then, in 2017, the focus will shift to solidarity with the fishermen of Gaza; and in 2018 the coalition plans to send in a large vessel carrying hundreds of supporters from around the world to “challenge the blockade.”

The land, air, and sea blockades of the Gaza Strip have been enforced by Israel since 2007, and by Egypt when it has not been ruled by the Muslim Brothers. After Hamas had won the Palestinian elections in the strip in 2006, and eventually seized control of the Gaza Strip from the PLO, it declared war on the Jewish State, vowing to destroy it, and refusing to honor the peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians. There was also the June, 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, which was followed by Operation Summer Rains—open warfare between Hamas and the IDF. Since then, Egypt and Israel have sealed their border crossings with Gaza, opening them infrequently only to close them in a hurry when some residents of Gaza inevitably shoot rockets at the other side.

Israel insists that, in this perpetual state of war with Hamas, the blockade is necessary to limit rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on its civilians and to prevent Hamas from obtaining other weapons by sea. Egypt, for its part, razed an entire Gazan neighborhood last year, to create a wide and easily governable no man’s land between Egypt and the Gaza strip. Egypt has also been systematically flooding the Hamas smuggling tunnels connecting its territory with Gaza.

At this point, Hamas holds the key to removing the blockade: embrace the peace accords, disavow its plan to annihilate the Jews of Israel, and begin to care for its own, downtrodden population. But since that’s not in the cards, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is there to lend its support.

In the Barcelona meeting, on Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1, the following campaigns were represented:

Canadian Boat to Gaza European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza Freedom Flotilla Italy Palestine Solidarity Alliance (South Africa) Rumbo a Gaza (Spain) Ship to Gaza – Norway Ship to Gaza – Sweden It was the first FFC face to face meeting after its Freedom Flotilla III, in which most of the boats turned back to Greece harbor midway, and the flagship Marianne was boarded peaceably by the Israeli Navy, and all the delegates on board were detained and sent home.

The Barcelona meeting ended with an ambitious resolution, to “continue our work until the blockade of Gaza is lifted, occupation comes to an end and all just rights of the Palestinian people are restored.”


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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pro-palestinian-activists-blockade-zim-ship-at-port-of-oakland/2014/08/18/

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