Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

Gaza Flotilla

According to Article 90 of the Turkish Constitution, international agreements prevail over domestic laws if there is a conflict between them and no appeal can be made to the Constitutional Court claiming the former are unconstitutional.

It appears that Anonymous carried out a major cyber-attack against Israeli government websites. Haaretz reports that IDF, Mossad, Shin-Bet, and several other government websites are currently inaccessible. Watch video for an accurate and sophisticated political statement.

Watch video…

[T]he Palmer Report seems to fault seriously the manner by which the Israeli enforced the blockade, but unfortunately upheld the underlying legality of both the blockade and the right of enforcement, and that is the rub.

Haneen Zoabi: “Just as Israelis are beginning to seriously consider a new social order, they must also consider a new diplomatic order in which Israel will pay a heavy price for its policy of oppression, occupation, and belligerence.”

Ms Zoabi, a vociferous critic of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians, was a passenger on the Mavi Marmara, attracting fury in Israel. She was branded a traitor by colleagues and stripped of some parliamentary privileges… The Knesset’s ethics committee voted to bar Ms Zoabi from parliamentary debates until the current session ends next month, declaring that her actions had “harmed national security and were inconsistent with the legitimate conduct of a lawmaker”.

Activists from around the world organized a mass fly-in known as the Flytilla. The activists were invited by Palestinian groups in a campaign called “Welcome to Palestine” and intended to protest Israel’s practice of frequently denying the entry of activists and Diaspora Palestinians into the occupied Territories.

In May, in a closed meeting of many of Israel’s business leaders, Idan Ofer, a holding-company magnate, warned, “We are quickly turning into South Africa. The economic blow of sanctions will be felt by every family in Israel.”

A total of 310 arriving passengers have been questioned by the Immigration and Population Authority. 69 of the passengers were found to be “fly-in” activists and were denied entry to Israel. The others were found to be regular tourists and were permitted to enter Israel.

Outsourcing, aggressive and vocal diplomacy and ridiculous lies thwarted the flotilla, but they have not taken Gaza off the international agenda. If Israel – which knew full well that there was not one gram of explosives aboard the ships – had let them sail to Gaza, the flotilla would not have preoccupied the international media as it did.

The Swiss company that had sold cement to Swedish activists planning to sail to Gaza as part of an international aid flotilla said Wednesday that due to “force majeure,” it had decided to cancel the deal.

The Israeli occupation is the longest military occupation of modern times. The subjects of the occupation in its two forms – the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – live under a brutal regime that few other occupations allowed themselves, without any law… The prolonged occupation, a disaster for us and for the Palestinians – [is made possible] because Israel enjoys the support of the West.

As the Flotilla boats to Gaza are prevented from leaving the Greek ports, the Israeli government congratulates its diplomatic efforts in pressuring Greece to stop the activists. Earlier in the week, the Israeli press cited an army debrief when all major newspapers reported the Flotilla activists will carry lethal acid on board their ships, according to army intelligence.

The Israeli Government has so far done little to deny its culpability. Its highest officials speak of the allegations in self-righteous language that is typically diversionary, asserting an irrelevant right of self-defense, which supposedly comes mysteriously into play whenever civil society acts nonviolently to break the siege of Gaza that has persisted for more than four years.

Israel’s Air Force on Monday concluded a two-week drill with the Hellenic Air Force as the two nations cemented growing ties between their militaries, recently reflected in Greece’s recent move to halt a Gaza-bound flotilla set to depart from its shores.

The Audacity of Hope was stopped at sea by the Greek Coast Guard 20 minutes after leaving the port. Our captain refused to turn back despite the pleas of the Coast Guard commander. After about two hours, Greek commandos joined the Coast Guard vessel and the decision was made to turn back. We are currently at a military dock in Athens, unable to proceed.

On Friday July 1, after a week of delay, the Audacity of Hope set sail, with thirty-five passengers, five crew members and eleven journalists. After only an hour at sea, however, we were stopped by the Greek Coast Guard, which told the boat, “You are forbidden to leave Athens. Return to port now.” The battle continues.

UPDATE
Amira Hass, Barak Ravid, and Reuters: Greece blocks departure of all Gaza-bound ships

Less than one hour after leaving the Athens port, the American ship in the Gaza flotilla was stopped by the Greek Coast Guard, which demanded it return to the port. The boat, named the Audacity of Hope, left the Athens port at 16:30 en route to the Gaza Strip, carrying 35 passengers, five crew members and 11 journalists. It departed without permission from the Greek authorities to sail.

Activists say Israel is responsible for ‘attempted murder’ for allegedly sabotaging propeller shaft of an Irish ship, forcing it to pull out of the voyage.

IOA Editor: Clearly, the implication is that Israel has every right to stop the Freedom Flotilla, and to do so by any means it chooses. What next?

“Israel is trying to outsource the siege on Gaza to Greece and the US,” said Dror Feiler at the press conference. In other words, it turns other countries into collaborators in the imposition of the siege by blocking the flotilla – with warnings, threats, bureaucratic delays and adopting a “provocation” narrative.

Reports of bureaucratic and technical obstacles have given flotilla organizers the chance to remain in the spotlight, resulting in an increased awareness of Israel’s policies in Gaza.

According to [Israeli] government sources, the army doesn’t have any evidence that the flotilla activists are planning violent resistance, yet it publicly accuses them of conspiring to murder soldiers.

Several Israeli ministers have accused the [Israeli] army of “spin” over its claims that activists on board a Gaza-bound flotilla plan to harm Israeli soldiers, Maariv newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The gradual closure of Gaza began in 1991, when Israel canceled the general exit permit that allowed most Palestinians to move freely through Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Since then the closure, which may soon be challenged by the second Freedom Flotilla, has become almost hermetic.

IOA Editor: Israel’s propaganda attack, a prelude to the looming confrontation, is growing more intense. The latest from the people who killed 9 innocent peaceful activists last year: “Senior Israeli officials receive information that activists are bringing chemical substances to use against soldiers; extremists participating in flotilla have said they intend to ‘shed the blood of IDF soldiers.’” Surely, this could serve as a ‘justification’ for another violent attack on this year’s round of ‘pirates…’

Passengers on the US Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, said news reports that an Israeli “lawfare” group, Shurat HaDin, is behind the complaint delaying the departure of the US boat from Greece substantiate the Americans’ assertions that the complaint is frivolous. The passengers expressed confidence that Greek authorities will now quickly dispense with the complaint and allow The Audacity of Hope to sail.

On Sunday, a convoy of activist ships known as the Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human set sail for the shores of Gaza. The convoy is the tenth such attempt by the Gaza Freedom Movement to break the naval blockade on the strip. The same day, the Israeli Government Press Office issued a release, warning foreign journalists that if they are on board the ships, they are liable to be banned from Israel for ten years.

I take a look at the other people in the room and ask myself, “Why do they need this?” The oldest person planning to sail on the Canadian vessel is a 77-year-old American woman… There’s also another woman and a man over 70… There are nine other passengers in their sixties, and many others between 40 and 60. So why are they doing this?

Letter from head of Israel’s Government Press Office warns that taking part in convoy of boats sailing to Gaza could result in being barred from Israel for 10 years. … The flotilla “is a dangerous provocation that is being organized by western and Islamic extremist elements to aid Hamas.” … Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass will be joining the flotilla, along with several dozen other journalists and several hundred activists from some 20 countries.

Passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, are asking Greek government officials to clarify whether the boat they are leasing is being blocked from leaving Greece because of an anonymous request of a private citizen concerning the seaworthiness of the ship or whether a political decision has been made by the Greek government in response to U.S. and Israeli government pressure.

US peace activists preparing to set sail on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, expressed profound disappointment over a statement issued by the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, June 22, 2011. Instead of calling on the Israeli government to let a flotilla of unarmed civilians sail to Gaza, the United States government is pressuring its own citizens to refrain from legal acts.

Why am I going on the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza? I ask myself this, even though the answer is: what else would I do? I am in my 67th year, having lived already a long and fruitful life, one with which I am content. It seems to me that during this period of eldering it is good to reap the harvest of one’s understanding of what is important, and to share this, especially with the young. How are they to learn, otherwise?

U.S. Boat to Gaza passengers recorded short personal statements on who they are and why they chose to participate in the upcoming Freedom Flotilla 2. Israel has described Gaza Flotilla participants as terrorists and is preparing its mighty naval, air, and ground forces to deal with them as such. Based on the experience of the first Freedom Flotilla, we already know what to expect and who is going to do the terrorizing. Watch these brief personal statements to see who the participants really are, and just what a threat they pose to the only nuclear superpower in the Middle East.

Gaza Island

22 June 2011

The Freedom Flotilla 2, with 12+ boats carrying humanitarian aid and 1000+ peace activists, is sailing to Gaza in late June. Alice Walker, who’s sailing with us, calls this the Freedom Ride of our generation. We want to help open this Palestinian port and end the illegal Israeli blockade, which has caused so much suffering. Meanwhile, the global BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement is calling on Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson and Kiri Te Kanawa to cancel their 2011 Israel concerts and get on the boat!

In late June, a US flagged ship called The Audacity of Hope will join the 2nd Freedom Flotilla – Stay Human as people from 22 nations set sail to Gaza challenging the Israeli naval blockade. Though the flotilla has the right under international law to do exactly what it is doing and has made abundantly clear its commitment to nonviolence, the government of Israel has publicly stated that they are prepared to act illegally and violently and take severe, even potentially life-threatening, action against the boats and their passengers. The US Boat to Gaza organizing committee urges people throughout this country to plan now for Emergency Response actions.

The Israeli Defense Forces held a large drill Wednesday in preparation of the flotilla that intends to set sail to the Gaza Strip later this month. The drill focused on different scenarios that might occur at sea and methods to deal with them.

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