On 31 May 2010 at 4.26 a.m. a flotilla of six vessels was boarded and taken over by Israeli Defense Forces 72 nautical miles from land. The vessels were carrying people and humanitarian supplies. The flotilla had been directed to change course by the Israeli forces who stated that the coast of Gaza was under a naval blockade. Nine passengers lost their lives and many others were wounded as a result of the use of force during the take-over operation by Israeli forces.
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July 1, 2011 in News
Irish activists planning to sail in a flotilla to Gaza have accused Israel of sabotaging their ship. It is the second vessel due to participate that has had its propeller damaged while moored in a Mediterranean port this week. The Israeli military is under orders to prevent an international convoy of ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid from reaching Gaza. Organisers want to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of the territory.
December 14, 2010 in Open Source Center
Against the backdrop of widespread international criticism and muted senior official comment regarding Israel’s actions in the Free Gaza flotilla raid, the IDF and some ministries, as well as individual volunteers, turned to social media to counter bad publicity over the incident. While IDF YouTube videos apparently succeeded in attracting attention to Israel’s message, the government’s overall social networking effort appears to have been hastily and clumsily organized compared to a more effective effort at the time of the Gaza incursion from December 2008 to January 2009. Several prominent commentators rebuked the government for what they perceived as a tardy and unprofessional public diplomacy campaign during the incident.
October 1, 2010 in Israel
This case-study deals with a strategic political strike against the State of Israel that was planned without interruption since February 2009 and materialized on May 31, 2010. Known as the Gaza Flotilla, this effort exceeded the expectations of its organizers in causing tangible and significant damage to Israel. Planning of the Gaza Flotilla was carried out over the internet and in public conferences by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) primarily operating from major cities of countries friendly to Israel, including London, Dublin or San Francisco. In the broader context, the Gaza Flotilla was just the tip of the iceberg. It is one incident out of many in a campaign entitled ‘Lifeline to Gaza’ designed to break the ‘siege’ of Gaza. The campaign itself is one of several being waged against Israel. Others include the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement, the ‘lawfare’ strategy, and the Durban conferences.
August 7, 2010 in News
Engineers shut down Gaza City’s sole power plant on Saturday because of a lack of fuel, switching off electricity to some half a million people in the midst of a heat wave. The fuel for the plant is supplied by the rival Palestinian government in the West Bank, which says it has reduced shipments because the Gaza’s Hamas government is behind on payments. “The electricity was cut in Gaza City because of there wasn’t enough fuel for the station,” said power station official Suheil Skeik.
June 13, 2010 in News
Newly released footage from the MV Mavi Marmara shows that Israeli commandos carried guides for identifying and targeting individuals on various ships in the Gaza aid flotilla during their raid on May 31, 2010 in international waters. In the footage, a man clearly displays the guide page by page to the filmaker Iara Lee. The following screen captures show quite clearly the contents of the guide.
June 13, 2010 in News
June 7, 2010 in News
The UN secretary general called today for a multinational investigation of Israel’s raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left nine dead but the proposal was swiftly rejected by the Israelis. Ban Ki-moon proposed that the inquiry be headed by the former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer and include representatives from Turkey – under whose flag many of the ships in the aid convoy sailed – Israel and the US, an official from Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said.
June 5, 2010 in News
The Israel Defense Force released a video yesterday that it claimed contained audio of a conversation between Israeli naval vessels and the Turkish-owned ship Mavi Marmara. The conversation is supposed to have occurred prior to the Israeli assault that killed at least 9 passengers and injured dozens more in the early hours of May 31 in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean. This audio clip, which has been given the title “Radio Transmission from Mavi Marmara to Israeli Navy”, appears to be an almost comical fabrication, utilizing separate pieces of audio spliced together to imitate a continuous interaction. Unlike other clips which contain moving images, this clip features only a still photo. It was released a day after Israel’s forced retraction of the claim that members of the aid flotilla were connected to Al-Qaeda.
The following list is approximate and partial, and it changes from time to time. It is based on information from Palestinian traders and businesspersons, international organizations, and the Palestinian Coordination Committee, all of whom “deduce” what is permitted and what is banned based on their experience requesting permission to bring goods into Gaza and the answers they receive from the Israeli authorities (approved or denied). It is not possible to verify this list with the Israeli authorities because they refuse to disclose information regarding the restrictions on transferring goods into Gaza. It should be noted that Israel permits some of the “prohibited” items into Gaza (for example: paper, biscuits, and chocolate), on the condition that they are for the use of international organizations, while requests from private merchants to purchase them are denied.
June 4, 2010 in Israel Defense Forces
On April 28th, the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish IHH organization, announced that it intended to sail a flotilla to the Gaza Strip on May 24th. This date was later delayed until the end of May. The stated goal of the flotilla, dubbed “The Freedom Flotilla”, is to bypass existing humanitarian aid channels and to make port in the Gaza Strip, despite Israeli maritime restrictions which exist in the region. This is the fourth flotilla launched by the organization.
April 5, 2010 in News
In a busy internet cafe in the centre of Gaza City, lots of people, mostly young, are typing and clicking away. Some of them are engrossed in the world of Facebook. “I use it 10 hours a day,” says Mohammed who owns the shop. “I have over 200 Facebook friends.” But Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, believes the population’s love of social networking websites is making it easier for Israel to recruit spies.
December 2, 2009 in News
An EU document stressing that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state brought a sharp response today from Israel, which claimed Brussels was damaging the prospects of peace talks restarting. The draft document, to be discussed by EU foreign ministers next week, strongly criticised Israeli policies towards the Palestinians and warned negotiations need to resume urgently to break the “stalemate” in the peace process. Although the EU has long said that Jerusalem’s future should be resolved in final status negotiations, the draft appears to be part of a diplomatic effort to strengthen the Palestinians and encourage them to return to talks.
October 15, 2009 in News
Britain’s UN envoy urged Israel to hold “full, credible and impartial” investigations, echoing similar calls from his US and French counterparts. A report by a UN mission led by Richard Goldstone accused both Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes. The UN Human Rights Council is set to discuss the report again later today. The findings were originally presented by Mr Goldstone, a veteran South African judge and war crimes prosecutor, to the Council two weeks ago, but it decided to defer its response until March. However it reconsidered because of anger among Palestinians that allegations in the report were being ignored. Israel has rejected the Goldstone report as biased and favouring terrorism.
September 15, 2009 in News
A detailed and damning UN inquiry into January’s war in Gaza has found evidence that war crimes and possible crimes against humanity were committed by Israel and Hamas. The investigation, led by the former South African judge Richard Goldstone, is the most serious international inquiry into the three-week war in which 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died, and which triggered criticism across the world. It presses for prosecutions.
September 7, 2009 in News
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has authorised the construction of more than 450 new housing units in settlements in the occupied West Bank, his ministry said in a statement on Monday. “Defence Minister Ehud Barak has authorised the construction of 455 housing units in settlement blocs” in the occupied West Bank, it said after an earlier statement that he had approved 366 and would later approve more units to bring the total to 450.
July 6, 2009 in News
Israel is deporting a former U.S. congresswoman, a Nobel peace prize laureate and other activists who were arrested trying to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, a government spokeswoman said Monday. The Israeli navy commandeered the boat last week as it tried to sail from Cyprus to Gaza. It was the latest in a series of trips by activists trying to bring attention to the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt on the territory after the Islamic militants of Hamas seized power there two years ago.