ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Facts vs Falsehoods: Gaza "freedom" Flotilla running Israeli blockade is illegal by international law, NOT piracy

Updated on May 7, 2012
AP -- image of the "freedom flotilla" at night
AP -- image of the "freedom flotilla" at night


Memorial Day 2010 will forever go down in history as a day of controversy, as Israelis enforced their blockade of Gaza against the so-called freedom flotilla, intended to run the blockade. The process was peaceful until one of the ships decided to resist the inspection with clubs and knives. The end result is multiple flotilla members killed, dozens more injured, and many Israeli soldiers injured, some seriously.

It is not the author's intent to assign blame in this situation. The scene was far too chaotic for that. However, the author wishes to address some outright FALSEHOOD released by the "freedom flotilla"'s patron, the Free Gaza organization, claiming something that is simply not true.

The Activists Say...

The "Free Gaza" activists claimed what the Israelis did was high-sea piracy, boarding flagged ships in International waters.

"The attack has happened in international waters, 75 miles off the coast of Israel, in direct violation of international law."

Furthermore, the organization also promised to resist non-violently.

“The message from Israel is clear: ‘We will stop you. And no-one can prevent us from stopping you.’ said Free Gaza chair, Huwaida Arraf.

“However, we will non-violently resist Israeli attempts to seize our boats. Thousands of people have contributed to making this flotilla a reality, and the people of Gaza are expecting us.

Photo of "activists" resisting Israeli commandos with clubs and possibly knives
Photo of "activists" resisting Israeli commandos with clubs and possibly knives

Reality says otherwise...

Unfortunately, international martime law does NOT support the charges of "piracy".

San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;

The activists knew they are running an internationally declared blockade on a recognized terrorist organization, namely Hamas. They specifically stated so in the press release quoted earlier. They clearly resisted visit, search, or capture. Thus, they may be attacked, as per international law.

It is also interesting that the organization also failed to "resist non-violently", unless they actually interpret "beating and stabbing" as "resisting non-violently".


It is clear that Free Gaza's propaganda machine is running at full speed, by ignoring laws and facts, and instead spinning partial facts and outright falsehoods to their "cause".

I am a skeptic and a cynic. I believe Free Gaza may have a legitimate cause, but it is NOT engaging in ethical behavior by portraying the incidents as solely the fault of the israelis.

As this is not meant to be a political rant, I think I'll stop right here.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kschang profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      @Batfink -- that's why someone have to call out their lies, but again, I am not trying to get into a political debate, as that is simply a topic too big for even a series of hubs.

      @sheila -- to be honest, the blockade rules are a bit weird, but again, another story.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      This wasn't the first time such aid was shipped to Gaza, it's just the first time a flotilla refused to abide by the rules Israel set up - simply to examine what they are bringing in because weapons are being smuggled into Gaza.

    • batfink68 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great article but alas, the hate-speech generation doesn't respect law.

      One interesting point that needs to be expounded upon is that the U.S. considers the Palestinian Territories as a nation among nations.

      Now many hate speech advocates have been saying that 'Israel's blockade is illegal' because of the conflicted status of The Gaza Strip.

      This is erroneous as it doesn't matter what internal civil conflicts are going in within a nation for another nation to blockade. Right now there are 2 Palestinian governments (one in power in one territory and one in power in the other) claiming they alone are the legit gov't that has the right to speak for the Palestinian state.

      It doesn't matter that the Palestinian territories have a civil conflict going on where 2 different govt's claim they alone are the legit gov etc, the law is that Israel has the right to blockade the state of Palestine regardless of (internal) civil conflicts going on.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)