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Israeli Forces Attack Boats Bearing Aid to Gaza

Israeli Forces Attack Boats Bearing Aid to Gaza

A flotilla of ships carrying 10 tons of humanitarian aid along with some 600 pro-Palestinian activists has been attacked and stopped by Israeli forces bent on preventing the aid from reaching the blockaded Gaza territory.

The Israeli forces attacked the vessels in international waters, about 80 miles from the coast of Gaza. Associated Press is reporting nine deaths and 30 wounded, included six Israelis. Most of the dead were Turks. The ships were escorted to Ashdod on the Israeli coast and the wounded were evacuated. Sixteen people were arrested and jailed for refusing to identify themselves. All the activists currently are being held without access to outside communications.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated “The entire flotilla is a political and media provocation by anti-Israeli activists. They have absolutely nothing to do with humanitarian aid.” Israeli foreign minister labeled the incident an attack against Israeli sovereignty.

The 1.5 million residents of Gaza have endured three years of a blockade by Israel, which aims  to prevent weapons from reaching the territory while bringing down the Hamas-led government, which took power in 2007. A 2008 UN report notes that 52% of Gaza households live below the poverty line, while  a Palestinian survey that year stated that 80% of Gaza families are poor. In March 2010 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that the blockade of Gaza is causing “unacceptable suffering”; while he urged all Gazans to “choose the path of non-violence, Palestinian unity and international legitimacy”, he also said the blockade was counter-productive in that it made legitimate business all but impossible and encouraged smuggling.

This raw video footage shows the confusion and fear during the minutes following the Israeli forces landing on one of the ships:

There are conflicting reports on whether or to what degree the armed Israeli forces met with resistance. This video, released by Israeli Defense Forces, purports to show Israeli troops being attacked with poles by activists on one of the boats boarded:

The incident is certain to have repercussions, including negative PR for the  Israeli government, which had publicly vowed that the flotilla would not be allowed to land in Gaza. As news of the attack spread, demonstrations took place in Britain, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and the Palestinian territories; Israel’s lone ally in the area, Turkey, has recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv. Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned Tuesday visit to the White House in the wake of the incident.

The certain losers here, as so often happens, are the people of Gaza, trapped by a blockade and the intransigence of the governments that control them.

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo: One of the flotilla's ships leaving port in Turkey before the attack
AlJazeera English via YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dY2hkfTgEI

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208 comments

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6:29PM PDT on Jun 16, 2010

So many people get all sympathetic for the "Palestinians" and Hamas. But non-jewish arabs don't have a claim to the land. It was the territory of the Jews. Then the Romans took it by force. Then Arabs took it by force. Then Europeans, ultimately the British took it by force. Then it was peacefully handed off the the natives.

I'm not here saying God gave Israel to the Jews, I don't believe that. But they I don't mind that after all these centuries they have their land back. Their aren't Palestinians. Their are just trouble making Arabs in Isreal . Yet people take their side, and the side of Hamas.

I bet if any of you had a actual encounter with Hamas in Gaza, you'd change your mind real quick if you lived that long. They are murderous brutes and terrorist.

I'm not a conservative or even religious, but these leftist peace-mongers get annoying, especially when they become hypocrites after supporting war-mongering terrorist for idiotic sentimental reasons.

3:56AM PDT on Jun 15, 2010

Margaret, when I watched the Gaza Flotilla docking in israel ,Cnn and other news reporters REMARKED that the PEOPLE of israel all SUPPORTED the action of the Israeli Leaders. They did not mention any opposition as a result my mis-understanding. Thank you again for your input. Much Appreciated by me.

3:50AM PDT on Jun 15, 2010

Margaret M -" Many Jews, both those in Israel and those elsewhere, including Rabbis are very vocal of Israel's violations of human rights in the Occupied Territory. If you read Haaretz at all, you would notice that much of their material is their dismay at what Israel is doing in their name."

Margaret, Thank you for your information. Its very enlightening to know that this is happening and I apologise for my ignorance of the above. Just to clear your "racism remark" that certainly was not my intention. I luv and respect all human beings irrelevant of Religion, colour,country, culture or dressing.

4:43PM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

Ray:
I have to disagree with your last post regarding"Can you explain HOW CUM NOT evn ONE of them is condemning what Israel is doing i.e. starving an entire nation with their BLOCKADES, "

Many Jews, both those in Israel and those elsewhere, including Rabbis are very vocal of Israel's violations of human rights in the Occupied Territory. If you read Haaretz at all, you would notice that much of their material is their dismay at what Israel is doing in their name.

I also do not think there is a whole nation of evil people who support this. They like most populations are controlled by fear. Their ideology does not come by study of the historical record, it is based on what they learn. When something is diametrically opposite of their learned belief system, they will dismiss it as nonsense. By labelling a whole group of people rather than faulty their government, you are stereotyping them, just as people do to those of the Muslim faith. It is racist to do so.

8:13AM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

Lydia S , israel is full of all the LEARNED and PIOUS men of JUDAISM. Can you explain HOW CUM NOT evn ONE of them is condemning what Israel is doing i.e. starving an entire nation with their BLOCKADES, Murdering innocent children, women and men and NOW killing innocent activists and calling "THEM TERRORISTS" simply to justify their murderous actions. WHY? WHY? WHY is the RELIGIOUS MEN OF JUDAISM SILENT making the people of israel feel that their ACTS are GODLY??. What About the POPE?? WHY isnt he and the CHURCH STANDING UP AGAINST THE OPPRESSION AND MURDER OF GOD'S CREATION. Why are they just sitting and watching the STARVATION and SUFFERING of GOD'S Creation?? Can we people of the world now trust and believe in ANY MAN of ANY RELIGION who CLAIMS to be RELIGIOUS??? How can they be RELIGIOUS when they quietly watching EVERY LAW of GOD being BROKEN and DISOBEYED.. This is WHY so many people have left their Religions and dont believe in GOD. Its because of these MEN who CLAIM to be "MEN of GOD" BUT sit and watch silently while outrageous acts of DISOBEDIENCE of GOD and HIS LAWS are being BRAZENLY BROKEN daily.

This is WHY GOD says in the HOLY Revelations "the first fuel of the HELLFIRE will BE THE LEARNED MEN OF Religions as they HID the TRUTH and DISCLOSED FALSEHOOD.

7:32AM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

Anyway Lydia S BELIEVE whatever you wish to believe its YOUR PEROGATIVE. The TRUTH will overcum FALSEHOOD. Take Care. God Bless You and Your Family.

7:29AM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

Lydia S yes its the ignorant followers who are not following the RELIGION ISLAM correctly. How many times must i keep repeating that the BLAME is on the People as they interpret passages to suit their own desires. I have quoted Verses from the Quran which shows very clearly that what they are doing is wrong. All those sites you have quoted are written by either anti -islamists and, or people who if they are muslims then they are IGNORANTS choosing to misinterpret the Quran according to their OWN passions and desires. Please note there is ALWAYS a "BEFORE" episode and a "AFTER" episode to every Verse in the Quran. Whenever there were certain problems in the world then GOD Almighty revealed ANSWERS for those Specific problems. People choose verses which DONT apply to their specific problems and try to use it to suit their situations. That is WHY there is such corruption ATM.

8:30PM PDT on Jun 13, 2010

Lydia
You are applying a broad brush to put all Muslims in one pot. The case you are discussing is in Afghanistan, where as the flotilla was headed to Gaza. Do you think all Muslim majority countries have religious intolerance against anything but Christianity?

My point is why are we discussing Afghanistan when the issue is about human rights in Gaza. I obviously do not side with Afghanistan and their human rights violations, but I don't think that it applies to Gaza and the attack on the Mavi Marmara.

6:59PM PDT on Jun 13, 2010

Ray P wrote: "SO WHAT RESPONSIBILITY are U talking about when our LORD clearly says IN THE QURAN that THERE IS NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION and that the individual is FREE TO CHOOSE whether to ACCEPT ISLAM OR NOT."

No Ray P -- YOU ARE WRONG! This is DELIBERATE MISINFORMATION! Every Islamic country makes "apostasy" a crime ... In other words, a Muslim does NOT have a right to choose! Converting to ANY other religion calls for a DEATH SENTENCE under Sharia Law!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Rahman_%28convert%29

To cite JUST ONE recent example February 2006 -- In Afghanistan, Abdul Rahman was arrested after HIS FAMILY REPORTED HIM TO THE POLICE! because he possessed a Bible! After his arrest, he was unable to find a lawyer in Kabul willing to represent him. Authorities barred attempts by the Associated Press news agency to see him. Prosecutors asked for the death penalty for Abdul Rahman, calling him a "microbe". Prosecutor Abdul Wasi demanded his repentance and called him a traitor: "He should be cut off and removed from the rest of Muslim society and should be killed."

The Afghan Attorney General was quoted as saying that Abdul Rahman should be hanged.

Ansarullah Mawlawizadah, the chief judge in the case, said that Abdul Rahman would be asked to reconsider his conversion: "We will invite him again because the religion of Islam is one of tolerance. We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him."

6:58PM PDT on Jun 13, 2010

Reply to Ray P continued:

Ansarullah Mawlafizada also said "the Prophet Muhammad has said several times that those who convert from Islam should be killed if they refuse to come back. Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, kindness and integrity. That is why we have told him if he regrets what he did, then we will forgive him".

The judge added more: "If he does not repent, you will all be witness to the sort of punishment he will face."

On March 26, 2006, UNDER HEAVY PRESSURE FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS, the court returned his case to prosecutors, citing "investigative gaps". He was released from prison to his family on the night of March 27. There were calls for his death from clerics who were outraged that he had been released! On March 29, Abdul Rahman arrived in Italy after the Italian government offered him asylum. He left under cover of night & under heavy security!

The fact that HE HAD TO FLEE HIS OWN COUNTRY, UNDER THREAT OF DEATH -- FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN -- SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT "TOLERANCE" UNDER ISLAM!

Islam is NOT a religion of Peace ... and NO OTHER RELIGION calls for death to anyone "insulting" or "disagreeing" or even "Questioning their religion (Fatwas, Jihad) ... NO OTHER RELIGION SENTENCES ANYONE TO DEATH FOR CHANGING THEIR RELIGION FROM ISLAM TO SOMETHING ELSE!

Excommunication, Maybe ... DEATH, NO!

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/int/long.html

http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/apostasy.htm

http://www.city-

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