May 31, 2010
The Financial Times

Israel Attacks International Convoy Bringing Aid to Gaza

by Tobias Buck and Delphine Strauss

Israeli navy commandos raided the international convoy of ships carrying humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Monday, killing at least ten pro-Palestinian activists on board.

The convoy of aid and foreign activists had launched in international waters off Cyprus on Sunday in defiance of the Israeli-led blockade of Gaza. . . .

Three of the boats in the "Free Gaza" flotilla, the most ambitious attempt yet to break Israel's blockade of the strip, were flying under the Turkish flag. . . .

The assault took place in international waters, between the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and the Gaza coast. According to several reports, the six ships of the "Free Gaza" flotilla were boarded from the sea and from helicopters.

Israeli soldiers quickly took control of the vessels with about 700 pro-Palestinian activists on board. It was unclear how and why the reported shootings started, but the flotilla organisers have always stressed that the passengers on the boats were unarmed.

Israel has made preparations to tow the ships into the port of Ashdod, where special detention facilities have been erected for the flotilla activists.

The ships were carrying 10,000 tonnes of supplies for the embattled Gaza Strip, including medical supplies and construction materials. . . .


"Scale of Gaza Destruction Emerges," BBC News, January 19, 2009

"U.N. Human Rights Chief: Israel's Blockade of Gaza Strip Is Illegal," Associated Press, August 14, 2009

George Galloway, "Aid Convoy Arrives in Gaza, Situation 'Desperate',", January 7, 2010

Norman G. Finkelstein

[At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.--"Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet,", May 31, 2010]

[Some 700 pro-Palestinian activists were on board the flotilla, including 1976 Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and an elderly Holocaust survivor.--"India Condemns Israeli Attack on Pro-Palestinian Activists,", May 31, 2010]

[With Monday's brazen act of piracy, Israel dealt a blow to the legitimacy of its own struggle. . . . Outrageous as this behaviour was, the true outrage is the illegal blockade of Gaza that it enforced.--"Israel is lost at sea," Financial Times, May 31, 2010]

"Israel flotilla action criticised by friends and foes," Reuters, May 31, 2010

[We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege, which is itself becoming Israel's Vietnam.--Bradley Burston, "A Special Place in Hell / The Second Gaza War: Israel lost at sea," Haaretz, May 31, 2010]

"The Flotilla Massacre - Israeli Commandos Fired Unprovoked Into Sleeping Civilians: Eyewitnesses,", May 31, 2010

Joanna Sugden, "Gaza ships: the passenger list," Times Online, June 1, 2010

"Flotilla attack: full UN statement," Guardian, June 1, 2010

"Global Condemnation of Israeli Armed Attack on Gaza-Bound Freedom Flotilla: At Least 10 Dead, Hundreds Remain in Detention,", June 1, 2010

Robert Fisk, "Western leaders are too cowardly to help save lives," Independent, June 1, 2010

[Hamas is the democratically elected government and as such a necessary and major player in any negotiations that would stand a chance to yield a sustainable settlement of this conflict. . . .

The simple fact is that Israeli commandos violated international law. They entered international, not Israeli, waters, swept down in a raid at 4 am and encountered according to PM Netanyahu outrageous description "unexpected resistance." What did the Israelis expect?--John L. Esposito, "White House Needs to Rethink Weak U.S. Response to Israeli Attack," Huffington Post, June 1, 2010]

Ben Quinn, "Was Israel's raid on Gaza Freedom Flotilla legal?," Christian Science Monitor, June 2, 2010

[The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution by 32 votes to three condemning "in the strongest terms the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces against the humanitarian flotilla of ships".--Daniel Dombey and Tobias Buck, "UN council votes for flotilla deaths probe," Financial Times, June 3, 2010]

"Flotilla Passengers Huwaida Arraf of Free Gaza Movement and Retired Army Col. Ann Wright Respond to Israeli Claims on Deadly Assault,", June 3, 2010

Yousef Munayyer, "What exactly is the blockade of Gaza?," Foreign Policy, June 3, 2010

[It is worth recalling that the embargo was initiated not as a response to the rocket fire from groups in Gaza aimed at Israeli towns but in response to Hamas's seizure of power in Gaza from a Fatah movement that had attempted to block Hamas's popular mandate.--Editorial: "Israeli action against Gaza is counterproductive and puts the country itself in more peril," Observer, June 6, 2010]

[George Galloway, the founder of Viva Palestina, announced in London that two simultaneous convoys "one by land via Egypt and the other by sea" would set out in September to break the Gaza blockade.--Ian Black, "Gaza blockade: Iran offers escort to next aid convoy," Guardian, June 6, 2010]

Joshua Holland, "7 Questions for Defenders of Israel's Inhumane Siege of Gaza: The Gaza blockade has nothing to do with Israel defending itself,", June 7, 2010

[What the Israeli commandos got is what any armed hijacker should expect who tries to steal a car from a driver who keeps a tire iron under the front seat.--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Lift the Siege of Gaza,", June 8, 2010]

[As Israel ordered a slight easing of its blockade of the Gaza Strip Wednesday, McClatchy obtained an Israeli government document that describes the blockade not as a security measure but as "economic warfare" against the Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory.--Sheera Frenkel, "Israeli document: Gaza blockade isn't about security,", June 9, 2010]

"New Video Smuggled Out From Mavi Marmara of Israel's Deadly Assault on Gaza Aid Flotilla,", June 10, 2010

Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara, May 31st 2010 // 15 min. from Cultures of Resistance on Vimeo. Full video on YouTube.

[ . . . it shows a boat that was actually searched in 2009.--Jonathan Turley, "Hoax: Video Showing Heavy Weapons Discovered on Mavi Marmara is a Fraud,", June 8, 2010]

[The two commissions of inquiry, one appointed by Israel and the other to be named by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, will seek answers to a number of unresolved questions triggered by the attack which killed nine Turkish nationals and sparked worldwide outrage and condemnation.--"Israeli Attack May Violate International, Maritime Laws," Inter Press Service, June 16, 2010]

Asa Winstanley, "Leaked documents show PA undermined Turkey's push for UN flotilla probe," Electronic Intifada, June 22, 2010

Part 2, Part 3

[Practically every day Turkish soldiers and civilians are being killed. The killings are done ostensibly by the Kurd terrorists of PPK, but this is a new step in Israel's warfare against Turkish independence. . . .

The Mavi Marmara attack was intended to be a short, sharp shock to the increasingly independent Turks.--Israel Shamir, "Turkey is the Key,", June 25, 2010]

Chris McGreal, "UN panel accuses Israel of war crimes for 'unlawful' assault on Gaza flotilla," Guardian, September 23, 2010

[When Israel launched its bloody attack on the Turkish Gaza aid vessel, the Mavi Marmara, on May 31, 2010, the reason was not so much the ship's running of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The brutality of the Israelis in shooting unarmed Turks and one Turkish-American, some at point blank range, according to a UN report, indicated that Israel was motivated by something else: vengeance and retaliation for the Turkish government's crackdown on Ergenekon, the purging of the Turkish military and intelligence senior ranks of Donmeh, and reversing the anti-Muslim religious and cultural policies set down by the Donmeh's favorite son, Ataturk, some ninety years before. In effect, the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara was in retaliation for Turkey's jailing of several top Turkish military officers, journalists, and academics, all accused of being part of the Ergenekon plot to overthrow the AKP government in 2003. Hidden in the Ergenekon coup plot is that the Donmeh and Ergenekon are connected through their history of being Kemalists, ardent secularists, pro-Israeli, and pro-Zionist.--Wayne Madsen, "The Donmeh: The Middle East's Most Whispered Secret,", October 25, 2011]

Martin Iqbal, "Was the Gaza Flotilla Massacre a Turkish-Israeli False Flag and Precursor to the War on Syria?,", February 3, 2012

Yvonne Ridley, "No Show Trial for Israel in Turkey,", November 8, 2012

"ICC set to declare attack on Turkish aid ship a 'war crime',", November 5, 2014

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, "Spain 'issues arrest warrant' for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu over 2010 Gaza flotilla attack,", November 16, 2015

"Israel sends $20 million to Turkey for families of Mavi Marmara victims,", September 30, 2016

Free Gaza Movement

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