Information Update Operation ‘Sea Breeze’ 01 June 2010 Contents Flotilla Background Operation 'Sea Breeze' – Legal Aspects Interception of the Ships Following the Interception The IHH
2010 2009 2006 2005 2007 2008 The Gaza Strip Context Increased deterrence Operation Cast Lead Hamas Coup State of Calm PA Elections Shalit Kidnapped Unilateral Disengagement
Naval Blockade Background The Naval Blockade on Gaza International Law demands that a blockade fulfill a number of conditions in order to render it legal. For example, the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflict at Sea (1993) requires: Due Notice The date the blockade begins, the duration and coordinates must be published to every country which may find it relevant. Effectiveness The blockade must be fully enforced. Discrimination The blockade must hold true for vessels from every country. Purpose The goal of the blockade must not be to punish the population or refuse supplies vital for its survival. Proportionality The damage to the population must not exceed the military advantage. Neutral Access The blockade must not prevent access to neutral ports.
Flotilla Background On April 28th, a number of organizations, led by the IHH, announced that they intended to sail a flotilla to the Gaza Strip coast, despite a naval blockade which was imposed during operation Cast Lead. The boats were scheduled to arrive in the region on May 24th, together with the Rachel Corrie, which departed from Ireland on May 17th. Due to technical difficulties, the ships began to arrive to the pre-defined gathering point, south of Cyprus, on Friday, May 28th. Israeli Response Beginning in April and continuing until the moment before the ships were intercepted, the option of transferring the supplies to Gaza through the existing land crossings were offered, pending security clearance. In addition, it was made clear that no ships would be allowed to breach the legally imposed blockade.
Participating Ships Name:'Mavi Marmara' Flag: Turkey Maximum Speed: 10 knots Height: 19 meters Length: 93 meters Made in: 1994 Name:'Defne Y' Flag: Kiribati Maximum Speed: 12 knots Height: 15 meters Width: 95 meters Cargo Capacity: 4412 tons Made in: 1980
Participating Ships Name: 'Gazze' Flag: Turkey Maximum Speed: 12 knots Height: 10 meters Width: 68 meters Cargo Capacity: 2000 tons Made in: 1981 Name: 'Eleftheri Mesogeios‘ (Sofia) Flag: Greece Maximum Speed: 11.5 knots Height: 10 meters Width: 64 meters Cargo Capacity: 1133 tons Made in: 1967
Participating Ships Name: Challenger 1 Flag: St Vincent and Grenadine Maximum Speed: 20 knots Length: 30 meters Name: SFENDONH - Boat 8000 Flag: Togo Maximum Speed: 15 knots Length: 30 meters Width: 7 meters
Enforcing Naval Blockades Attempted Breaching of the Blockade The entry of a vessel into a blockaded area without permission constitutes a breach of the naval blockade. According to International Law, if there is reasonable ground to believe that the vessel has breached the blockade, it may be captured. If the vessel refuses to stop, in certain circumstances proportional use of force is permissible. A vessel may be captured when attempting to breach a naval blockade if there is reasonable ground to believe that the vessel intends to breach it, even before the vessel reaches the blockaded territorial waters. In such a case, the capture must take place outside of territorial waters: “ ” Attempted breach of blockade occurs from the time a vessel or aircraft leaves a port or airfield with the intention of evading the blockade… The Commander’s Handbook on the Laws of Naval Operations, US Navy
Interception of the Ships On 31 May, at 0428, numerous warnings were broadcast to ships as they approached the Gaza Strip, clarifying that continued progress would not be allowed. Intercepting the Ship After the calls to stop were ignored, Israeli commandos boarded the ships. Soldiers boarding the the Mavi Marmara were violently attacked by means of weapons stoles from IDF soldiers, knives, broken glass, clubs, slingshots and other improvised weapons prepared in advance. The boarding soldiers were shot at, stabbed, thrown overboard, attacked and lynched by the ship passengers. IDF soldiers opened fire on the attackers as a last resort in their attempts at self-defense. 7 Israeli soldiers were injured, 2 seriously. Among the protesters, 9 were killed and 34 were injured.
Video http://bit.ly/deniLo Navy Warnings Prior to Arrival
Weapons We will definitely resist and we will not allow the Israelis to enter here… if Israel wants to board the ship, it will meet strong resistance. “ ” Bulent Yildrim, Head of the IHH, May 30th, 2010
Video http://bit.ly/9SQY0N Closeup - Violence on Board – Side View
Video Weapons Onboard the Ship http://bit.ly/cmt7mH
Following the Interception Procedure Once in Port The ships were diverted to Ashdod Port by Israeli naval vessels. Here, passengers were given medical examinations and screened for security purposes, as were their possessions. Having completed this, passengers were asked to sign deportation notices. Those who agreed are deported and those refusing are transferred to a detention center. Passengers (665) Injured passengers were evacuated by helicopter and boat to four hospitals in Israel: Mavi Marmara 530 Challenger 17 Beilinson: 14 SFENDONH 48 Ein Karem: 4 Gazze 18 Tel Hashomer 8 Sofia 31 Rambam 6 Defne Y 21 Barzilay 2
Every person who came down the ropes, was grabbed by three or four people and violently assaulted. We were lynched. They had metal rods, knives, slingshots, and glass bottles. At some point, live fire was shot at two of our soldiers. Testimony of one of the Navy commandos on the ‘Mavi Marmara’
There were guys who they threw off the top deck, and who were stripped of their gear. They jumped into the sea as a last resort … Testimony of one of the Navy commandos on the ‘Mavi Marmara’
IHH The IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi – Humanitarian Relief Fund) is a radical Islamic organization established in 1992, which registered formally in Istanbul in 1995 and is led by Bulent Yildrim. While its activities include legitimate humanitarian activity, it also includes the support of radical Islamic terrorist organizations. Hamas The IHH openly supports the Hamas, as a member of the Union of Good (UoG), which supports Hamas institutes in the PA. UoG was defined a terrorist entity by the US government in 2008. Global Jihad IHH has links with the GJ in the Middle East, as well as including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya. CIA reports in 1996 exposed the IHH’s connection with extreme groups. Al-Qaeda In 2006, a Danish research group showed IHH involvement in recruitment, the purchase of weapon and the planning of attacks The IHH participation in this flotilla included the purchase of three boats, including the Mavi Marmara, as well as providing aid to the Hamas regime in preparing to receive the flotilla. Bulent Yildrim also admitted to having children and elderly on board as a deliberate human shield (30 May 2010)