Vessels carrying alleged humanitarian aid for the Arabs residing in Gaza attempted to reach the Hamas-controlled region on May 31, despite the Israeli Navy’s repeated notifications that all materials must be unloaded in the Port of Ashdod where they undergo appropriate security inspections. Israeli authorities gave assurances that legitimate aid materials would be shipped by road to Gaza following inspections. All but one passenger ferry, the Mavi Marmara, cooperated with authorities.
The Mavi Marmara carried approximately 600 passengers and its repudiation at any sort of cooperation provoked the Israeli Navy to board the ship to neutralize the situation. Violence ensued when commandos were attacked as soon as they set foot on the fleet, suggesting that the “peace activists” planned a coordinated, violent attack riddled with a motivation for war and conflict.
The ferry was one of three provided by a Turkish organization known as Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH). Evan F. Kohlmann, a terrorism analyst for NBC News, published a report in 2006 for the Danish Institute for International Studies which noted that IHH has aided Islamists and terror organizations, including the group’s assistance to a Sunni insurgency in Iraq in 1997.
Israel is the only nation thus far to ban IHH for its fiscal and material support to terrorist regimes.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has released footage showing terrorist-provocateurs whom attacked soldiers with metal poles and, according to some reports and eyewitness accounts, firebombs and firearms. Additional reports have confirmed that soldiers were attacked with knives.
To see more video, go here.
IDF naval soldiers put their lives on the line, refraining from using any sort of ammunition until the last possible moment when all other options were exhausted. Nine “peace activists” died while two Israeli soldiers are in critical condition. All those who were injured, including the terror-provocateurs who were harmed in a situation of their own making, received treatment in Israeli hospitals. These facts seem to contradict the Arab media’s assertion that this was a “massacre.” Arguably the use of helicopters helps to take over a vessel with minimal impact or with the purpose of avoiding needless endangerment of those on board. In this case, while the loss of life is obviously an unfortunate issue, it is becoming blatantly clear that the IDF took necessary precautions at risk of their own safety in order to neutralize a threat.
Israel lawfully controls traffic both in and out of Gaza from the Mediterranean and Negev. Foreign humanitarian goods are allowed into the region despite the 15,000 tons of aid, subsidized by the Israeli taxpayer, shipped to Gaza from Israel on a weekly basis. Earlier today Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister, noted that there isn’t anyone dying from hunger in the Gaza Strip and that the real issue is the attempts to transport weapons and terrorists into Gaza by Islamist rogue states and by their supporters.
Israel is not the only country in the region to impose a blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza. Egypt has imposed a similar blockade since 2007 when Hamas took power. Egypt has sealed its border with Gaza and is in the process of erecting a steel wall to keep Islamic terror groups from engaging in terror activities, including smuggling weapons and terrorists.
In response to this latest needless violence, undoubtedly provoked by these so-called peace activists, hundreds of activists from San Francisco to London are staging protests against Israel in front of Israeli consulates. It is worthy of note that protesters in Turkey shouted the expected anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slogans while burning Israeli flags. No response yet from Turkey, which has withdrawn its ambassador to Israel in response to this latest fiasco, possibly to gain additional favor with Islamist and oppressive regimes, about what it plans to do to address legitimate human rights grievances of the Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Kurds.
Here are some of the “peace activists” in their own words:
Khaibar was the last Jewish village in Arabia which was totally destroyed by Muhammad and his followers in 628. The actions of eradicating a village, slaughtering men and forcibly taking women as concubines, can be described only as an ethnic cleansing and genocide. This reminiscent cry of the massacre in Khaibar is often heard at rallies staged by religious extremists and their supporters. It denotes a threat to those of Jewish heritage to expect to be massacred once more by Muslims.
Evidently the “peace activists” of the flotilla are nothing more than Jew-haters and racists looking for conflict where there should be none.
Reut Cohen is a JPC contributor and author of the blog www.reutrcohen.com.