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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Flotilla’

Israeli-Turkish Talks Likely to Focus on Gaza in Geneva

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Israeli and Turkish diplomats are meeting today (Feb. 10) in Geneva, Switzerland, according to reports in both Israeli and Turkish media.

Although Turkish diplomatic sources did not confirm the report, Turkey’s NTV said Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu was traveling to Geneva for the meeting.

Likewise, although it has not been confirmed, it is likely the two sides are starting to focus on the thorny issue of Israeli national security and Turkey’s insistence on ending the blockade of Gaza. The region has become the central headquarters for a number of radical Islamist terrorist organizations, not the least of which includes its ruling government, the Hamas terrorist group — which has its international headquarters in Istanbul, funded by Iran.

In general, the talks are continuing over how to heal the broken ties between the two former allies following two separate ice-breaker meetings in Ankara between 51 American Jewish leaders with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu earlier this week.

Turkish media ascribes the break to the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, when a Turkish-owned vessel participated in an illegal flotilla aiming to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

When the flotilla ignored Israeli Navy orders to redirect to Ashdod port, IDF commandos boarded each vessel to bring them in, including the Mavi Marmara. But on that vessel the commandos, armed only with pistols and paintball guns, were attacked by terror activists armed with knives and iron bars. During the clash that ensued, 10 attackers were killed, and a number of IDF commandos were seriously wounded.

Turkey used the incident as an excuse to break its ties with Israel and demanded a formal apology, compensation to families of the “victims” — and removal of Israel’s blockade of Gaza. This would open Israeli citizens wide to the results of a massive delivery to Hamas of weaponry from Iran, not to mention opening the border wide to infiltration of terrorists into Israel, further exacerbating the current wave of terror.

Such a request can be likened to asking Turkey to drop any military defense against the PKK — the Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist organization which is recognized by the international community as a terrorist group. The PKK has repeatedly attacked Turkish citizens and government officials. Turkey’s military does whatever it can to defend against the group and eliminate it.

Israel officially “apologized” to Turkey in 2013 over the deaths of her citizens. Discussions over compensation are continuing, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

However, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper reported Wednesday that Israel had agreed to pay Turkey $20 million in compensation, which is to be transferred to a special fund “that will in turn provide grants to the families of the Turkish citizens who were killed on injured in the Israel commando raid of the Mavi Marmara, in accordance with the recent agreement between the two countries.”

Turkey continues to maintain a hardline attitude, however, on what it calls “the Palestinian cause in talks with Israel.”

According to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, discussions on “how Turkish access to Gaza will be provided in an unrestricted fashion have yet to be clarified.”

The Daily Sabah quoted presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin at a recent Ankara briefing as saying Israel must meet all three conditions to normalize relations. He added Turkey “will continue to play its role until a two-state solution is reached and the Palestinian people have their own state. Permanent peace cannot be achieved in the region without resolving the Palestinian issue,” Kalin said.

However, despite the chilly diplomatic atmosphere business is quite brisk between the two nations.

The group that owns the license to Israel’s mammoth Leviathan natural gas field recently signed a new $1.3 billion contract to supply the Israeli Edeltech Group and its Turkish partner, Zorlu Enerji.

Hana Levi Julian

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.”

JNi.Media

First Official Turkish Delegation to Israel in 5 Years

Monday, August 31st, 2015

For the first time in five years, Turkey and Israel are talking officially again, with an official delegation from Turkey arriving today (Mon. Aug. 31) to discuss development in Jenin.

The Turkish delegation, led by Guven Sak, a co-director of the Turkish Manufacturers and Traders Association, are set to meet Monday in Israel with Israeli Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoub Karal

The Turkish business leaders are allegedly planning to discuss development of an industrial zone in the Jenin are, a project worth a Turkish investment of at least $100 million.

Monday’s visit is the first since the 2010 incident on the Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel that illegally attempted to breach Israel’s maritime security blockade of Gaza. The vessel, sponsored by a Turkish activist group, was filled with violent, armed activists who attacked Israeli commandos who boarded the vessel to redirect it to Ashdod port, after the captain refused to change course away from Gaza.

Although the group sponsoring the ship claimed it was filled with “humanitarian supplies”for Gaza residents, upon inspection in Ashdod it was discovered there were no supplies for Gazans. But during the clashes on board the vessel between the attacking activists on board, and the Israeli commandos who boarded to redirect the ship, nine Turkish attackers were killed. A number of Israelis were seriously wounded, including one critically, as well.

The incident sparked years of acrimonious rhetoric from then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now the country’s president, who expelled the Israeli ambassador and recalled his own from Tel Aviv. Erdogan is a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which gave birth to Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. He was outraged when Israel has launched counter terror operations to silence the incessant rocket and mortar fire being aimed at its civilians in southern areas.

Nevertheless, over the past several years various figures behind the scenes have been working quietly to repair the damage to the relationship between the two former allies, which has continued to grow economically in commercial trade.

A number of religious leaders on both sides have also maintained ties and continued to meet for interfaith dialogue facilitated by Istanbul-based Islamic scholar Adnan Oktar.

The delegation is arriving one day after Turkey’s “ambassador to the Palestinian Authority,” Mustafa Sernich, traveled to Gaza, Al Resalah reported Sunday.

Semich was accompanied by a delegation of economists who paid their own way, and who are scheduled for meetings with heads of Gaza economic institutions.

The Turkish official was scheduled to meet with “deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.”

Until recently Haniyeh was recognized as the de facto prime minister of Gaza. The use of this new title by Palestinian Arab media suggests Haniyeh was demoted in a quiet internal political battle out of the public eye.

Hana Levi Julian

Hague Judges Tell Prosecutor to Proceed with 2010 Gaza Flotilla ‘War Crime’ Case

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

A 3-judge panel of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, in a 2-1 decision, on Thursday called on the court’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to reconsider her decision not to investigate the 2010 clash between Israeli soldiers and Turkish activists on a flotilla that was on its way to Gaza.

Last year, Bensouda refused a request, to launch a probe into the May 31, 2010 incident, submitted by the Union Comoros, an island nation in the Indian Ocean under whose flag the boarded flotilla boat, the Mavi Marmara, was sailing.

Eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other pro-Palestinian activists wounded by Israeli commandos, in a botched operation in which the Israelis climbed down a rope, one at a time, to receive severe beatings with metal rods from the activists.

At the time, Bensouda said there was a “reasonable basis to believe” war crimes had been committed on the Mavi Marmara, except she did not believe the case merited an ICC involvement. It appeared that in her view the ICC should use its authority to discern major international confrontations, rather than what amounts to a coast guard boarding gone awry.

On Thursday, the Judges rebuked Bensouda for making “material errors in her determination of the gravity” of the case.

Israel’s Turkel Commission probe of the incident, which, according to Ha’aretz, has met with the approval of the UN investigative committee (the Palmer Committee), found that:

a. The naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip – in view of the security circumstances and Israel’s efforts to comply with its humanitarian obligations – was legal pursuant to the rules of international law;

b. The actions carried out by Israel on May 31, 2010, to enforce the naval blockade had the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries. Nonetheless, and despite the limited number of uses of force for which we could not reach a conclusion, the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law. The UN Palmer Committee Report on Gaza Flotilla Incident sided with the Israeli action. In its final summary, it stated:

The blockading power is entitled to board a neutral merchant vessel if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that it is breaching a blockade. The blockading power has the right to visit and search the vessel and to capture it if found in breach of a blockade.

Breach could occur outside the blockade zone, including on the high seas where there is evidence of the vessel’s intention. If there is clear resistance to the interception or capture, the blockading power may attack the vessel, after giving a prior warning.

The level of force used to enforce the above-mentioned rights must be proportionate; in particular, it must be limited to the level necessary to achieve the military objective.

So that, should the prosecutor decide to move ahead with the case, the entire debate would inevitably revolve around the proportionality of the IDF soldiers’ use of force.

Should make for an exciting kangaroo court.

JewishPress.com adds:

Judge Peter Kovacs has presented an opposing position to his peers in the ICC, which can be read here.

The key paragraph is the last paragraph where the judge wrote:

Indeed, it is likely that if an investigation was to be conducted most if not all of those acts will not qualify as war crimes within the meaning of article 8 of the Statute, either due to the difficulty in proving the mens rea of the potential suspect(s), or due to the existence of defences under articles 31 or 32 of the Statute (i.e., self-defence or justifiable error on the protected status of those on the Maria Marmara) with regard to the IDF soldiers who intervened in those difficult circumstances. It follows that the lack of prospect for any successful prosecution, together with the relatively low gravity of the alleged crimes makes it clear that the initiation of an investigation in the present situation is unwarranted.

JNi.Media

Video from IDF Take Over of #FreedomFlotilla [video]

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Channel 2 released an exclusive partial video of the IDF’s Shayetet 13’s takeover of the remaining boat in the flotilla to Gaza, the Marianne of Gothenburg, which was trying to breach the naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.

This segment of the video was approved by the IDF censor. The entire video will be released this evening.

In the video, we see the IDF informing them that their boat they will be boarded, as well as letting the former Tunisian president on board know that he is supporting the same type of terror regime that bombed his own country the other day in a terror attack.

Arab-Israeli MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) told the IDF that they will only allow one unarmed IDF soldier on board.

The video skips forward to the IDF troops on board, with the special forces soldiers informing MK Ghattas that they do not want to harm him, as they respect him as an Israeli MK.

One of the anti-Israel activists was seen tasered in the video.

The ship was taken to Ashdod port, after which, two of the people on board were expelled from Israel: former Spanish-European parliament member Ana Miranda and the Israeli-born Dror Feiler.

No IDF troops were injured in the operation.

(Commercials from Channel 2 may play first.)

Video of the Day

The Last of the Flotillas

Monday, June 29th, 2015

The flotilla stunt has sunk.

This morning’s end to the latest maritime Vaudeville act by a motley collection of anarchists, anti-Israel activists including an Arab Knesset Member, leftists and bored people looking for adventure may be the last attempt to break the Israel blockade to prevent terrorists and weapons from reaching Gaza by sea.

International media have not been able to whip up much anti-Israel rhetoric in their news dispatches of the peaceful takeover of the Marianne and the apparent U-turn by three other boats in the flotilla.

The voyage of the Marianne may have been the best thing for Israel since earlier this month when Hamas fired a Kassam rocket at Israeli civilians but saw it fall short of its mark and explode on a house in Gaza.

The only real success of Hamas, and the entire Palestinian Authority, has been to turn self-defeat into a principle.

Pro-Hamas activists have been trying to break the maritime blockade for more than six years, but their main aim has been to fuel the anti-Israeli media with stories about how the Israeli army is stopping good Samaritans from trying to save Gazans caught in a humanitarian crisis caused by the presumably heartless land blockade by Israel.

The establishment media finally has broken under the weight of the lies in claims by anti-Zionists.

Israel’s land “blockade” on Gaza barely exists anymore, except from Egypt, which has punished Hamas over and over by shutting down the Rafah crossing.

The maritime blockade has been upheld by none other than the United Nations, which investigated the clash on the May 2010 Mavi Mamara ship that was organized and led by Turkish-based terrorists of the IHH organization.

The U.N. report managed to criticize the IDF for using excessive force but upheld the maritime embargo as legal.

Flotilla activists have known ever since then that attacking Israeli soldiers, as the terrorist did with iron clubs on the Mavi Mamara, is going to be met with necessary force.

The crew and passengers on the Marianne did not raise a hand. The Navy commandeered the boat and took it to the port of Ashdod, where the foreigners will be deported and the Israelis will return home, with or without being arrested.

Passengers on the other boats deported themselves by choice when they decided not to follow the example of the Marianne, whose activists have set a precedent not resort to violence.

That will make it more difficult for future flotilla activists to start up with the Navy, which under any circumstances is going to win the battle.

The activists’ hope that the media would treat them as little Davids fighting a monstrous Goliath disappeared like a ship in the middle of the night.

Hamas’ open corruption and barbaric force against anyone who opposes it have torn the sails out of lies that the miserable lives of Arabs in Gaza are due to anyone or anything except Hamas.

Reuters reported the takeover of the Marianne factually and dryly, except for referring to Gaza as “the blockaded Palestinian territory,” unless it meant blockaded by Egypt.

The Associated Press was even briefer in its report.

BBC and NBC also were factual and objective in their dispatches.

The flotilla has wasted more tens for thousands of dollars. There always will be other do-good haters willing to shell out more money for another failure.

Let’em go for broke.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

This Flotilla Not a Thrilla – Netanyahu Calls them Hypocrites, IDF Escorts Boat to Ashdod

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Once again the enemies of Israel gathered in boats and attempted to chart a course for peace by sailing to Gaza. This time Israel was prepared and the peace boaters were easily subdued.

Details of the flotilla and who was on board can be found here.

Following the successful deterrence of those seeking to circumvent international law, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement:

“I would like to commend the sailors and commanders of the Israel Navy for their determined and efficient action in detaining the passengers on the ship that tried to reach the Gaza coast in contravention of the law. This flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region. Preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General.

Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law. We are not prepared to accept the entry of war materiel to the terrorist organizations in Gaza as has been done by sea in the past. Just last year we foiled an attempt to smuggle by sea hundreds of weapons that were destined for use in attacks against Israel’s citizens.

There is no siege on Gaza. Israel assists in transferring goods and humanitarian equipment to Gaza – approximately 800 trucks a day that have recently brought into Gaza more than 1.6 million tons of goods. Moreover, Israel assists in hundreds of humanitarian projects, through international organizations, including the building of clinics and hospitals.

Israel is a state that seeks peace and acts in accordance with international law so that the residents of Gaza might have safe lives and their children may grow up in peace and quiet.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/this-flotilla-not-a-thrilla-netanyahu-calls-them-hypocrites-idf-escorts-boat-to-ashdod/2015/06/29/

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