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Facts vs Falsehoods: Gaza "freedom" Flotilla running Israeli blockade is illegal by international law, NOT piracy
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.
Reality says otherwise...
Unfortunately, international martime law does NOT support the charges of "piracy".
Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked
(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.