Israel is involved in advanced preparations to attack the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. The commando attack is scheduled to take place in international waters. A detailed operational plan to be implemented by the Israeli navy has been set in motion. The use of force is explicitly contemplated:
“The Israel Navy has been asked by the government to prepare an operational response to prevent the flotilla from breaking the sea blockade that Israel has imposed over the Gaza Strip. Under the blockade, Gazan fisherman are allowed to sail three kilometers off the coast of Gaza but no further. Ships are not allowed to enter waters that are twenty kilometers from the Gaza Strip. (JP, May 31, 2011)
“….[S]oldiers were under order to use force to neutralize armed danger and neutralize attackers if necessary, but that in general, the objective and the goal would be to take over the ship non-violently and without casualties on either side.” (Ibid)
According to the Israeli navy spokesman, a number of “surprises” await those who dare approach Gazan territorial waters:
“The senior Navy officer said that Israel was preparing a number of “surprises” for the ships that are expected to participate in the flotilla.” (Ibid)
The same commando unit Shayetet 13 which attacked the Marvi Marmara in May 2010 killing nine human rights activists is “undergoing specialized training” involving “mock raids aboard a vessel that simulate events aboard the Mavi Marmara”. (See People’s Daily, May 31, 2011)
The commandos are also to undergo “extensive training in hand-to-hand combat taught by experts from Israel’s Shin Bet security service”.
The commandos, this time, will be heavily armed:
“Navy sources said that despite assessments that most of the activists will engage in passive resistance, the troops that will board the next flotilla are going to carry heavier weapons than the paintball guns and semi-automatic pistols used in the last flotilla.” (Ibid)
Israeli Intervention in International Waters is “Legal”
The report in the Jerusalem Post claims that under international law, Israel’s navy commandos have the right to intercept ships and engage in what is tantamount to acts of piracy:
According to international maritime laws, however, Israel Navy is allowed to intercept and take control of a ship that declares its intentions to sail to Gaza even before it enters the waters that are under the blockade.”
The Marvi Marmara
The articles then proceeds to describe the circumstances of the Marvi Marmara, where nine Turkish human rights activists were killed in May 2010 by an Israeli commando.
Rrealities are turned upside down. The lie becomes the truth. The Israelis commandos are portrayed as the victims, attacked by Turkish “mercenaries”.
“On May 31 2010, the Israel Navy stopped a Turkish flotilla and when commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara they were attacked by a group of mercenaries.
In ensuing violence, nine of the mercenaries were killed, and a number of Israeli commandos were seriously wounded.
In addition to military preparation, the Foreign Ministry is leading Israeli efforts to convince other countries to use necessary means to prevent the flotilla from departing to Gaza” (JP, May 31, 2011)
The JP report does not explain how these “nine mercenaries” were killed and no casualties were reported on the Israeli side.