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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Israel says it won't let 'internationals' boats reach Gaza

Haaretz reports that Israeli defense officials favor blocking the two boats that 'internationals' are currently sailing towards Gaza in an attempt to 'break the blockade' of the terrorist-infested strip.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Israel is within its rights to use force against the seafarers.

The subject of the Greek-flagged boats which the Free Gaza group said it would sail from Cyprus to Gaza this week prompted defense officials to hold a series of discussions; they said allowing the ships to reach the Gaza coastline could create a dangerous precedent. But the Israel Navy has not yet received any instructions on how to treat the vessels.


A position paper by the Foreign Ministry's legal department says Israel has the right to use force against the demonstrators as part of the Oslo Accords, which names Israel as responsible for Gaza's territorial waters.

An official in Jerusalem said the Foreign Ministry's paper means that security forces could detain the vessels upon entry to Gaza's territorial waters, arrest the passengers and haul the ship to Israel, where the detainees could be interrogated.
The Cypriots - from whose port the ships are scheduled to depart - have been sympathetic to Israeli concerns but feel that their hands are tied.
In conversations with their Israeli counterparts, Cypriot officials have expressed concerns about the boat departing from their shores, but say they can do nothing to prevent it. According to the information that has reached Israel, however, Cyprus is not the only point of departure under consideration; the ship might also sail from Turkey or Alexandria in Egypt.
Meanwhile, a report in Sunday's Jordan Times makes everything sound hunky dory aboard the ships.
According to Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of former British prime minister Tony Blair, about a dozen of these menacing messages have been received both on board the ships and in Nicosia, where the majority of the activists are currently based.

Some of the callers, text messages and answer messages speak of the ships being "blown up" or "destroyed, killing all on board". More perniciously, said Booth, the menacing elements have been making calls to family members.

On the afternoon of August 14, an anonymous male caller rang her home in France and spoke to her husband as her two young daughters were playing hide and seek in the garden. This person told her husband that Booth was in "great danger. These ships will be blown up".

Her husband asked how this caller had obtained her private number but received no answer. The threats continue. In a posting on the Free Gaza website, Booth asked: "Who is behind these phone calls? Who benefits by upsetting the families of those on board the Free Gaza and the Liberty? Who would wish to unsettle journalists aboard as unarmed ships set sail towards the waters around Gaza and almost certain interception by Israeli forces? The answer is clear."
Actually, the answer isn't 'clear' at all in the absence of evidence. But I'm pleased to hear that the sister-in-law of a former Prime Minister is on board the ships. After all, we all know that the Brits are experts at turning away ships full of 'illegal immigrants.' Except that Israel won't be returning people to death camps. Only the British would do something like that.


At 3:03 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Sink them! I know that's cruel. But showing kindness to the enemy won't boost the Jewish State's deterrent power.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Freedom Fighter said...

'Only the British would do something like that.'

And they certainly did, didn't they?

Nicely put, Carl!


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