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The Gaza Flotilla
The story of the May 31, 2010 Gaza flotilla actually begins a few years earlier in June 7-15, 2007, when the terrorist Hamas organization, after winning the majority in the Palestinian Legislative election of 2006, initiated a violent blood soaked coup of the Gaza strip. Hundreds of Palestinians were killed and many hundreds of Palestinians were wounded. Hamas targeted and killed civilians, held public executions of Fatah supporters, (Fatah is the opposition party to Hamas) threw prisoners off high-rise apartment buildings, and engaged in shooting their guns from jeeps marked with "TV" insignias. Such actions by Hamas were clear violations of international humanitarian law and in fact constituted war crimes.
As a result of the illegal takeover, the territory formally controlled by the Palestinian Authority is now divided into two entities: the Hamas-controlled government of the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, governed by the Palestinian National Authority.
Hamas is a terrorist organization with an official policy position to end Israel's existence as a Jewish State. Hamas is the organization responsible for firing over 6 thousand rockets against Israeli civilians, Israeli homes and schools. After its illegal takeover of Gaza, both Israel and Egypt declared a blockade against Hamas controlled Gaza to prevent weapons, armaments, Iranian missiles, or war material that could be used to produce weapons or missiles to enter Gaza. The purpose of the blockade was to prevent the possibility that Hamas would have weapons to carry out its threat to destroy Israel.
Under international law Israel is within its rights to establish a maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip, since Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a hostile terrorist entity that has launched missiles into Israel targeting and killing civilians, and has also infiltrated and attempted to infiltrate into Israel in order to carry out attacks. There is therefore a state of armed conflict between Hamas-ruled Gaza and the State of Israel. In such a situation Israel is permitted, under International Law, to blockade the territory of its adversary, providing the blockade does not result in starving the civilian population.
The Flotilla to Gaza, a flotilla of six ships sailing from Turkey to Cyprus and then on May 30, 2010 from Cyprus to Gaza, was an effort by its organizers, the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) to break the blockade. The IHH, by the way, is not just a humanitarian relief agency. It is an NGO that played an important role in a plot to bomb the Los Angeles airport on New Year's Day, 2000. It has been involved in numerous cover-up activities like creating forged documents and assisting different forms of infiltration for Mujahideen in combat. Indeed it has a radical Islamic anti Western orientation supporting radical Islamic networks including Hamas and global jihad elements. For more information see the terrorist-info.org website.
The Flotilla to Gaza was, as well an effort by Turkey to compete with Iran and eclipse the Middle East leadership role Iran has been trying to play. Indeed, the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Ergogan, had a direct role in supporting the flotilla, and making sure that trained operatives were able to board one of the ships, the Mavi Marmara, without having to undergo the usual security checks and paperwork that passengers on a ship leaving Turkey have to have.
Ralph Peters in a June 1,2010 article in the New York Post wrote:
Yesterday's "aid convoy" incident off the coast of Gaza wasn't about bringing humanitarian supplies to the terrorist-ruled territory. It wasn't even about Israel. It was about Turkey's determination to position itself as the leading Muslim state in the Middle East. Three ships of that six-ship pro-terror convoy flew Turkish flags and were crowded with Turkish citizens. The Ankara government -- led by Islamists these days-- sponsored the "aid" operation in a move to position itself as the new champion of the Palestinians. And Turkish decision-makers knew Israel would have to react -- and were waiting to exploit the inevitable clash. The provocation was as cynical as it was carefully orchestrated.
Among the passengers on the Mavi Marmara were: Hamas activist Ken O'Keefe, whose objective was to reach the Gaza Strip in order to establish and train a Hamas commando unit; Turkish citizen Hassan Iynasi, member of a Turkish charity trust that regularly transfered financial aid to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad; Turkish citizen Hussein Urosh, assistant to the IHH organisation, who was supposed to arrive in the Gaza Strip to assist the transfer of members of Al Qaeda via Turkey. Indeed, there was a group of over 50 Mavi Marmara passengers with terrorist connections who were not carrying passports and have refused to identify themselves. Many of them were carrying envelopes packed with thousands of dollars in cash.
The Flotilla To Gaza
The alleged purpose of the flotilla of 6 ships, lead by the Mavi Marmara, was to be a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza, carrying 10,000 tons of supplies and 682 passengers. Its primary purpose was something far different. On May 31, 2010, as this flotilla of 6 ships was about 80 miles from Gaza, in the Mediterranean Sea, the Israeli Navy contacted the ships to ask them their destination. They said Gaza. They were told that there was a blockade on entering Gaza and that they should port in Ashdod, where the ship's cargo could be inspected and from there non-banned items transported to Gaza by truck. The flotilla replied that they intended break the blockade and port in Gaza. This was its real purpose. See a video of the actual communication between the Israeli Navy and the Mavi Marmara. It is clear that Israel offered to have all the food, medicine and other humanitarian goods sent to Gaza, if the boats agreed to port in Ashdod. That humanitarian offer was soundly rejected by the captain of the Mavi Marmara and rejected a few days earlier when the offer was made to the the leaders of the flotilla. They publicly announced: "This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it's about breaking Israel's siege on 1.5 million Palestinians."
From this kind of pronouncement, one might think that there is a shortage of food or medical supplies in Gaza. But in fact this is not the case. On June 1, 2010 Danish reporter Steffen Jensen visited Gaza to see how bad things really were. This is what he wrote:
Yesterday I drove into the Gaza Strip. I don't do this as often as before [because it takes much longer to get through the checkpoints now.] This time, I had expected to see real suffering, because with all the fuss in recent days about bringing tons of humanitarian relief in - so much that people actually sacrificed their lives for it - there certainly had to really be a deep, desperate situation in the Gaza Strip. No food. Long queues in front of UN food stocks. Hungry children with food bowls.
But this was not the picture that greeted me. I will not say whether, in better times has been a larger product range than there was yesterday. But there was certainly no shortage of vegetables, fruits or any other ordinary, basic foods. Tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, watermelons, potatoes - mountains of these items in the many stalls.
I must admit I was a little surprised. Because when I call down here to my Palestinian friends, they tell me about all the problems and deficiencies. And the first woman we interviewed in the market confirms this strange, contradictory, negative mindset:
We have nothing. We need everything! Food, drinks ... everything!
It disturbed her not at least that she stood between the mountains of vegetables, fruit, eggs, poultry and fish, while she spun this doomsday scenario.
Humanitarian Aid Israel Permits to Gaza
Over one million tons of humanitarian supplies were delivered by Israel to the people of Gaza in the past 18 months, that is equal to nearly one ton of aid for every man, woman and child in Gaza
In the first quarter of 2010 alone (January-March), Israel delivered 94,500 tons of supplies to Gaza. Some of the food included:
- 40,000 tons of wheat, which is equal to 53 million loaves of bread;
- 2,760 tons of rice, which equals 69 million servings;
- 1,987 tons of clothes and footwear, the equivalent weight of 3.6 million pairs of jeans;
- 553 tons of milk powder and baby food, equivalent to over 3.1 million days of formula for an average six-month-old baby.
When the flotilla was about 70 miles out from Gaza, Israel enforced its blockade by sending Israeli commandos to sieze the ships. The commandos repelled down ropes from a helicopter. On five of the ships they encountered no resistance. On the Mavi Marmara, they were met with armed preplanned violence: 40 hard core IHH murderous mercenaries operatives, who knifed them and beat them with wood and metal clubs, chains, large hammers and other kinds of sharp metal objects; they were hit by slingshots and rocks. When the commandos realized that that this was an organized premeditated action and that their lives were in danger, they switched from firing paint ball guns to real guns. The fighting lasted about one hour. Nine terrorists were killed and dozens wounded. Seven commandos were severely beaten or shot.
Intrigue and Deception
So we have in the Gaza flotilla intrigues and deceptions on a number of levels. Intrigue Number 1 comes about because the United States has become nearly irrelevant as a leader in the Middle East. Hence Turkey makes a move to overtake Iran as the leader in the Middle East by supporting the flotilla. Intrigue Number 2 is that the purpose of the humanitarian convoy of the 6 ships to Gaza was not to deliver the humanitarian aid to Gaza, but to break the legally established blockade around Gaza. Intrigue Number 3 is that the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship in the flotilla, had on board not only 510 peacenik passengers, but 40 IHH mercenary operatives, whose purpose was to violently beat and lynch the Israeli commandos as they came on board to steer the ship to the Ashdod port. The outer level of each intrigue makes a good public relations stories against Israel by news organizations and politicians who either cannot discern what is really going on or who wish to play into the intrigues themselves.
An interesting commentary on some of the aspects of the deceptions can be seen in the video We Con The World.
In a word, the world reaction to the violence that occured on the Mavi Marmara was global condemnation, uniformly against Israel, as if Israel did not have a right to enforce the Gaza blockade. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the raid was a "state terror" and decided to return from a state visit to Chile. The Arab League called an emergency meeting on 1 June to discuss what it called Israel's "terrorist act" against the flotilla. The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek called it "an unjustified attack" and "a clear and unacceptable breach of international law". The United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that
A summary of reactions can be found in the wikipedia article.
United States supports the United Nations Security Council's condemnation of the acts leading to this tragedy, and we urge Israel to permit full consular access to the individuals involved, and to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately.
End of Times
We see rhetoric against Israel increasing. Eventually, the rhetoric will change to military action. All the nations of the world will be against Israel. We will then be witnesssing what has been foretold in the time before Moshiach.
It shall be on that day that I will make Jerusalem for all the peoples a burdensome stone, all whose bearers become lacerated; and all the nations of the world will gather against it. On that day -- the word of Hashem -- I will strike every horse with confusion and its rider with madness. But I will open the eyes to the House of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. (Zechariah 12: 2-4.)
Targum Yonaton is an Aramaic translation and commentary on Torah along with aggadic material and is thought to date from the tenth century. In the section on parshat Balak, there is a discussion of ships coming against Israel from Turkey, among other nations. We read from a translation provided by Dan Stochel
And ships loaded with many different kinds of weapons will be transported on large boats filled with many people joining together from Lombard, via the Italian region, who will join legions heralding from Constantinople (Turkey). They will have (past and present) caused great pain for the Assyrians (Armenians/Kurds-genocide) and attempt to rule over the Hebrew children, but, the end for all of these (enemy forces), is to fall into the hands of our King Mashiach who will obliterate them, forever.