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Home arrow Blog arrow June 2010 arrow June 3, 2010: Message From World Zionist Organization and WAWA

June 3, 2010: Message From World Zionist Organization and WAWA
June 3, 2010: Message From World Zionist Organization and WAWA! UPDATE: June 4, 2010 LEADS 



Washington 
Report
1902 18th St NW • Washington, DC 20009  |  (800) 368-5788 • Fax: (202) 265-4574

ACTION ALERT
June 3, 2010

Contact:

The Legal Framework of International Law

The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla by Israeli Navy Commandos
on May 31, 2010

Crimes against the Peace and
Crimes against Humanity

By Lynda Bray

During the pre-dawn hours of May 31, 2010, the Israeli Navy attacked the six civilian vessels of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.  The attack took place in international waters against ships flying under national flags of countries with which Israel is not at war, namely Turkey, Greece and the United States.  The ships were carrying civilians from more than sixteen countries.


Salient points:


Since no state of war existed at the time, the attack on these vessels constitutes an act of war against those governments under whose flags the vessels were sailing.

The attack falls within the purview of the ius ad bellum, those laws which govern the resort to armed conflict.  Israel’s action does not fall into the category of the ius in bello or the laws which govern the actual conduct of war.

Because this attack was carried out in international waters, the status of the relationship between Hamas, or any other Palestinian body, and the state of Israel is of no relevance whatsoever.  Likewise, neither the blockade of Gaza nor Israel’s claims and legal interpretations regarding it has any bearing on its acts of aggression in international waters.

This is not an act of piracy.  Piracy is an act of aggression carried out in international waters by individuals and not by states.


The following internationally binding treaties, charters, and agreements are relevant to the attack by Israel:

1. Article 6 of the Charter Provisions of the Nuremburg Trials

(a) Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(3) Crimes against Humanity:  namely murder…deportation, and any other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war...in execution of or in connection with any crime…whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

2. 1907 Hague Regulation Convention (XI) Relative to Certain Restrictions with Regard to the Exercise of the Right of Capture in Naval War

Chapter II – The Exemption from Capture of Certain Vessels 
Article 4.  Vessels charged with religious, scientific, or philanthropic missions are likewise exempt from capture.

Salient points:

The standard for judging the Israeli acts is objective and not subjective. It is irrelevant what Israeli ministers, generals, admirals, or soldiers thought or intended.  The test is in what they did. 

What they did was engage in acts of war using weapons of war in international waters against vessels that are protected not only in peacetime but also in times of war. 

Israel has therefore committed both crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity.

These are crimes that have international jurisdiction.  Israeli political and military personnel can be named in trials held in any and all countries of the world.  If the Israelis do not attend the trials, they can be tried in abstentia, and those decisions in which the Israelis are found guilty can be executed anywhere in the world.

Because unarmed civilians were murdered by a preplanned military attack, capital crimes have been committed.  While it would appear that the international community no longer finds capital punishment civilized, the punishments for these capital crimes can be multiple life sentences.

These crimes give rise to damage claims for huge sums of money and Israeli accounts can be blocked using decisions finding them guilty.

The unarmed vessels were on a philanthropic mission, carrying civilians and humanitarian supplies.  Even if Israel were in a state of war with any of these countries, it would be prohibited from capturing the vessels according to the terms of the Hague Convention of 1907.

Conclusion:


It follows, therefore, that Israel was first of all not allowed to attack these vessels militarily, and then not to board these vessels by force, capture these vessels, attack the passengers, imprison them on the vessels, forcibly remove them from the vessels, and steal their private property in the form of cameras, computers, clothes, etc.



Every single act carried out by the Israeli military forces in international waters no May 31, 2010, are unqualifiedly and absolutely violations of international law.

Lynda Brayer is an Israeli human rights lawyer who specialized in the laws of war and international law in representing Palestinians.  She is a graduate of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law and lives in Haifa.   She can be reached at

Appendix:
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla included six vessels on May 31, 2010
1. Mavi Marmara, passenger boat, Turkey
2. Sofia, cargo ship, Greece
3. Gaza I, cargo ship, Turkey
4. Gaza II, cargo ship, Turkey
5. Spendoni,  passenger ship, Greece
6. Challenger I, passenger ship, United States

At least nine passengers were killed, eight Turkish citizens and one U.S. citizen, Furkan Dogan, 19.


The majority of the passengers aboard the ships were Turkish citizens.  There were also nationals from Britain, Australia, Greece, Canada, Malaysia, Algeria, Serbia, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Kuwait and the United States.

Three German parliamentarians were aboard the Turkish boat that was stormed. There were also two Palestinian Members of the Knesset.  Swedish author Henning Mankell was also on board the flotilla.

TAKE ACTION:

Despite Israeli spin-doctors, and Israel firsters in the United States, it’s clear that Israel has broken international laws. Contact your government to call for an independent international investigation of Israel’s attack on the flotilla, an end to the Gaza blockade, and an immediate halt to U.S. aid to Israel.

Phone the White House: 202-456-1414 or 202-456-1111. Or contact President Barack Obama by e-mail http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Phone the U.S. State Department Public Information Line: 202-647-6575 ext 1
Contact your members of Congress: http://contactingthecongress.org/
Contact your local newspapers, radio stations, religious leaders… everyone you know.
Click here to subscribe to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.





FROM WAWA:

Why i am RED!



John Hagee Zionists
John Hagee CUFI
conference in Miami



How and Why I got 'on-board' with The FREEDOM FLOTILLA to Gaza
Read more...

June 2, 2010: The Irish are on their way to break the Gaza blockade and Rachel Corrie
Read more...
June 1, 2010: Obama's Timidity, Failed Policies and much more  
Read more...
June 1, 2010: French Connection: Challenges Israeli Version of Deadly Raid on FREE GAZA Flotilla UPDATED June 2, 2010 LEADS
Read more...
June 1, 2010: From my Syrian connection UPDATED @ 10:55 AM EST LEADS
Read more...
May 31, 2010: ISRAEL ATTACKS AND KILLS INTERNATIONALS IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS!UPDATED 6:30 PM: MEET The Board of Directors and Endorsers @ end
Read more...





EMAIL FROM Z.L.:

Dear Friend:

Various Israeli official bodies, including the ministry for Hasbara
[i.e. propaganda] have sent messages to Israeli citizens urging them to take an active part in the “propaganda war”.


They are told not to ask questions but rather to spread the official messages in every possible way in the virtual world: talkbacks, forums, Facebook etc..


I have the material which is mostly in Hebrew. Although every citizen was asked to use the languages he knows. The attached file is in English. It would be nice if some of you can publish it on the net in
order to unveil this coordinated campaign.-ZL

 

 

 

World Zionist Organization

 

IDF Interception of Gaza-bound Flotilla Responding to the Consequences of the Episode

 

1. Information and Main Points Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs

 

Ongoing Updates

 

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/Seizure_Gaza_flotil la_31-May-2010.htm

 

Weapons cache


http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2010/Israel_Navy_warns_flotilla_31 -May-2010.htm#weapons


 

 

Full account and additional information collected by Zionist Council of Victoria / Zionist Federation of Australia:

 

http://www.zcv.org.au/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=535&Itemid=434

 

2. Legal Points [MFA] The Gaza Flotilla and the Maritime Blockade of Gaza Legal Background – 31 May 2010

 

1. A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. Such blockade has been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza, which has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea.

 

2. Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea.

 

3. A blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral States.

 

4. The naval manuals of several western countries, including the US and England recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure and set forth the various criteria that make a blockade valid, including the requirement of give due notice of the existence of the blockade.

 

5. In this vein, it should be noted that Israel publicized the existence of the blockade and the precise coordinates of such by means of the accepted international professional maritime channels. Israel also provided appropriate notification to the affected governments and to the organizers of the Gaza protest flotilla. Moreover, in real time, the ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime blockade is in effect.

 

6. Here, it should be noted that under customary law, knowledge of the blockade may be presumed once a blockade has been declared and appropriate notification has been granted, as above.

 

7. Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. That includes both civilian and enemy vessels.

 

8. A State may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law. The US Commander's Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of evading the blockade.

 

9. Here we should note that the protesters indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade by means of written and oral statements. Moreover, the route of these vessels indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade in violation of international law.

 

10. Given the protesters explicit intention to violate the naval blockade, Israel exercised its right under international law to enforce the blockade. It should be noted that prior to undertaking enforcement measures, explicit warnings were relayed directly to the captains of the vessels, expressing Israel's intent to exercise its right to enforce the blockade.

 

11. Israel had attempted to take control of the vessels participating in the flotilla by peaceful means and in an orderly fashion in order to enforce the blockade. Given the large number of vessels participating in the flotilla, an operational decision was made to undertake measures to enforce the blockade a certain distance from the area of the blockade.

 

12.Israeli personnel attempting to enforce the blockade were met with violence by the protesters and acted in self defense to fend off such attacks.

 

3. Israel Ministry for Diaspora Affairs Talking Points

 

1. The State of Israel expresses its sorrow for the casulaties, but places full responsibility on the organizers and the participants who initiated the violence.

 

2. Prior to this, the State of Israel had offered the organizers the option of docking at Ashdod port and transfer the humanitarian aid to Gaza overland, but this offer was rejected.

 

3. The activists on one of the six boats had intentionally planned a violent response to the IDF Navy interception, including a gunfire attack as well as other weapons, knives, etc., which placed them in a life-threatening situation.

 

4. The Gaza Strip is not threatened by starvation or a humanitarian crisis. It is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization which is actively stockpiling arms and rockets for the purpose of targeting Israeli citizens, as in the past, and is holding an Israeli solider hostage in contravention of international covenants. Israel therefore reserves its natural right to check all cargo inbound for Gaza.

 

5. The flotilla was a deliberate ploy and act of political provocation designed to attract media attention on the part of anti-Israeli elements and the IHH which is a violent and extremist organization that supports terror organizations under the cover of humanitarian activity.

 

6. Israel reiterates its desire and readiness for peace with all who interested in making peace.

4. With Intent – Articles and visual documentation

 

IDF Spokesman: Article and video footage

 

http://dover.idf.il/IDF/English/News/today/10/05/3101.htm Video by IDF Spokesman [N America Desk] http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk

 

A brutal ambush at sea http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3896796,00.html

 

Ron Ben Yishai: bloody clash aboard Gaza-bound vessel

Weapons on board http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3896588,00.html Peace activist stabs IDF soldier www.youtube.com/watch?v=buzOWKxN2co

 

2

Navy commandos:‘They came for war’

Yaakov Katz, 05/31/2010 20:14

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177040

 

View footage, read soldiers' description of the 'Mavi Marmara' raid.

 

Flotilla Leaders Stated Sunday that Violence was Premeditated

 

The organizers of the Gaza flotilla announced in advance their intention of using violence against Israeli forces if the latter tried to prevent the ships from reaching Gaza. This intention was expressed in interviews given by the head of the IHH, Bulent Yildirim, to Turkish television stations on the last night of the voyage, as the ships approached the coast. [More: http://tinyurl.com/IHHViolence ]

 

Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=121348851234252

 

Acknowledgements:

 

Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs Israel Government Press Office Israel Ministry for Diaspora Affairs IDF Spokesman's Office ZCV/ZFA

 

Ynet News Jerusalem Post Jewish Agency for Israel/World Zionist Organization Spokesman's Office

Compiled by Gila Ansell Brauner, 1st June 2010




FROM WAWA:

Why i am RED!


 John Hagee Zionists
John Hagee CUFI
conference in Miami



How and Why I got 'on-board' with The FREEDOM FLOTILLA to Gaza
Read more...

June 2, 2010: The Irish are on their way to break the Gaza blockade and Rachel Corrie
Read more...
June 1, 2010: Obama's Timidity, Failed Policies and much more  
Read more...
June 1, 2010: French Connection: Challenges Israeli Version of Deadly Raid on FREE GAZA Flotilla UPDATED June 2, 2010 LEADS
Read more...
June 1, 2010: From my Syrian connection UPDATED @ 10:55 AM EST LEADS
Read more...
May 31, 2010: ISRAEL ATTACKS AND KILLS INTERNATIONALS IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS!UPDATED 6:30 PM: MEET The Board of Directors and Endorsers @ end
Read more...

   
 
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