Slate: Is the Israeli Blockade of Gaza Against the Law?

Israeli forces boarded a Turkish-flagged vessel attempting to ferry relief supplies into Gaza on Monday and killed nine civilians in the process. The parties disagree on who instigated the fighting, but there’s no doubt the ship was attempting to penetrate Israel’s three-year blockade of the occupied territory. According to international law, when can a country establish a blockade?

When it’s at war, or the United Nations has granted special permission. Naval blockades are acts of war under international law, so one country may legally blockade another only if it is acting in individual or collective self-defense—the standard requirements for going to war—or the U.N. Security Council has proclaimed the action necessary to maintain international peace. Some legal scholars, however, view the aged and restrictive laws governing blockades as being out of step with modern conflict. They argue that, under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, countries have broad rights to interdict and inspect any ships that may be carrying weapons into their territory, and such actions should not be interpreted as formal acts of war.

Naval blockades have a long history, going back to the Spartan blockade of Athens in 404 B.C. They can be a devastating military tactic—Athens surrendered after six months of starvation. But intercepting commercial vessels sometimes draws their home countries into a conflict. One of the United States’ beefs with Britain in 1812 was the confiscation of U.S. food shipments to France. Many Southerners fondly hoped that the massive Union blockade of the Southern coastline would draw Britain into the Civil War.

The Declarations of Paris (1856) and London (1909) laid down most of the modern ground rules to prevent blockades from turning regional conflicts into major wars. Any blockade must be formally declared, so neutral ship captains know to keep away from the interdiction line. The quarantined area may not extend too far beyond the coast, although the law isn’t specific on distance. (Many scholars interpret the language of the London Declaration to limit blockades to the standard 12 nautical miles that define territorial waters.) And you can’t half-ass a blockade: If a country selectively intercepts neutral vessels or employs too few naval ships to police the line, they have to drop it altogether.

Many consider Israel’s blockade to be on very shaky legal ground. Its status in the West Bank and Gaza is widely viewed as a belligerent occupation, despite the 2005 disengagement. Belligerent occupation is different from a true state of war and may not confer the technical right to form a blockade. Second, Sunday’s incident occurred 40 miles off the coast of Gaza, well outside the traditional blockade range. Finally, Israel has allegedly been firing on Palestinian fisherman, which is absolutely illegal.

Israel is hardly the first country to stretch the law of blockade to fit its perceived self-defense needs in a changing military landscape. On October 22, 1962, President Kennedy announced that the United States would establish a naval “quarantine” around Cuba to prevent the Soviet Union from installing nuclear missiles on the island. Kennedy chose his words carefully, because a blockade might have been interpreted as an act of war. (The president’s advisors had determined that the Soviets’ move, while provocative, did not trigger the Americans’ right to self-defense.) In practice, there was no difference between the U.S. quarantine and a blockade. Most legal scholars now agree that Kennedy’s move, while tactically inspired, was, in fact, against the law. Some advocates of Israel’s blockade defend it on the same terms: It may not be legal, but it’s necessary.

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Sunday’s interception raises other legal questions. A 1988 U.N. Convention, to which both Israel and Turkey are parties, prohibits seizure of ships on the high seas or acts of violence against the passengers. Ironically, the treaty was adopted in response to the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985 by Palestinian terrorists.

Source: Slate

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32 responses to “Slate: Is the Israeli Blockade of Gaza Against the Law?”

  1. Michale32086 says:

    The question of whether or not the Israeli Navy had the authority to board the Mavi Marmara is rather clear cut.

    But it can only be addressed by first addressing the question;

    Is the blockade of Gaza by Israel legal?

    The answer to that question, according to the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, is clearly, “YES”…

    Once it is established that the blockade of Gaza is legal, then other portions of the San Remo Manual come into play.

    Towhit, Israel is well within it’s rights to board any vessel attempting or intending to run it’s blockade in international waters anywhere in the world. Meaning that Israel could have legally boarded the Mavi Marmara as soon as they cleared Cyprus territorial waters as intent to blockade run was well established by that time.

    This is what international law says….

    You can read the San Remo Manual here:

    http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/385ec082b509e76c41256739003e636d/7694fe2016f347e1c125641f002d49ce

    As the San Remo Manual clearly shows, the blockade of Gaza is completely legal and lawful. Therefore, any vessel found to be running the blockade or when intent to run blockade is established then said vessel can be legally boarded, seized and, if the blockading party deems it necessary, attacked and sunk.

    If the blockade is legal and lawful, then any and all actions that were taken by Israel in this incident are also legal and lawful.

    Of course, conversely, if the blockade is an illegal blockade, then it becomes clear that Israel is legally in the wrong..

    There is only one part of the San Remo Manual that could, repeat *COULD* make the Gaza blockade illegal..

    PART IV, SECTION II, Paragraph 102:
    The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:
    (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
    (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

    Subsection (a) does not apply, because it is clear that sole purpose of the blockade is NOT the starvation of Gaza but rather to stop weapons from reaching Hamas. This is evidenced by the fact that Israel imports thousands of tons of aid into Gaza every month. So, obviously starving the population is not the goal.

    Subsection (b) would be the only section that one could hang their hat on, as far as illegality goes..

    According to the subsection, a blockade would be illegal if the damage to the civilian population is excessive in relation to the direct military advantage that said blockade would provide.

    The damage to the civilian population is clear. However, it IS mitigated to a great extent by the humanitarian aid that flows into Gaza from Israel on a daily basis..

    So, while there IS damage to the civilian population, it is not excessive by any stretch of the imagination.

    Now, let’s look at the direct military advantage that the blockade provides to Israel.

    This is abundantly and crystal clear. The ability of Hamas to obtain weapons that would, in turn, be used against innocent Israeli civilians is severely curtailed.

    Therefore, the damage to the civilian population of Gaza is not sufficiently excessive to out weigh the very real military advantage afforded Israel by way of keeping an excessive amount of weaponry out of Hamas’ hands.

    I am also constrained to point out that Hamas STILL can smuggle in weapons thru secret tunnels at the Gaza/Egyptian border. The fact that Hamas chooses to smuggle in weapons and explosives rather than foodstuffs and medicines makes it abundantly clear that Hamas is more interested in killing Israelis than they are in taking care of their own citizens.

    Further, I must also point out that many countries in the region, INCLUDING Turkey and Egypt signed off on the blockade as perfectly legal. Up until yesterday, Egypt actually participated in the blockade, coordinating their efforts with Israel.

    All of these facts support the opinion that the Israeli Blockade of Gaze is perfectly legal and in accordance with international law.

    And, as I stated at the beginning. If the blockade is legal, then the IHH Flotilla incident that flowed from that blockade is also legal.

    Michale

    • Amad says:

      The damage to the civilian population is clear. However, it IS mitigated to a great extent by the humanitarian aid that flows into Gaza from Israel on a daily basis..
      So, while there IS damage to the civilian population, it is not excessive by any stretch of the imagination.

      Actually the only thing that is clear is that you have a great sense of imagination. Which part of the hasbara brigade sent you here?

      Read the front page post on the FACTBOX around the issues. I have already dealt with your nonsense. EVERYONE, even American officials, held hostage by the Israel Lobby, is saying that the blockade is not sustainable, and many are admitting that it is a form of collective punishment. Look at the graph on the front page. It highlights what is allowed into Gaza and what isn’t. if keeping people at the brink of starvation, just enough so that they don’t die, is not excessive, then I would like you to join the Gazans and enjoy the high-life there and report back.

      Report back to your hasbara commander that your mission here has failed.

      • Michale32086 says:

        While I realize it is an emotional issue, nothing is served by making baseless and unfounded accusations.

        A logical and objective review of the facts is what is essential to solve the crisis.

        Hamas doesn’t seem to have a problem smuggling in weapons and explosives. If Hamas were to, instead, smuggle in foodstuffs and medicines, the people of Israel AND the people of Gaza would be much better off.

        Wouldn’t you agree??

        I am also constrained to point out that Hamas could end the blockade of Gaza today. Right this minute.

        All Hamas has to do is release Cpl Schalit that they have illegally kidnapped and imprisoned for 4 years in violation of the Geneva Conventions, cease it’s terrorist attacks on Israel and concede that Israel has a right to exist. These are real and tangible actions that Hamas could take to help the people of Gaza. The fact that Hamas won’t take these steps is another indication that Hamas cares more about killing Israelis than Hamas cares about the people of Gaza.

        Finally, one has to wonder why you do not attach the same vehemence to Egypt as you do to Israel. After all, Egypt also blockades Gaza in cooperation with Israel.

        As I said, while it is an emotional issue, it won’t be solved by emotionalism and hysterics. It won’t be solved by terrorism and butchery.

        It WILL be solved when Hamas agrees to the conditions outlined in UN Resolution 1860 or when the people of Gaza get fed up with Hamas butchery and Hamas lies and throw the bums out.

        Simple, logical and above all else, objective.

        Michale

  2. Michale32086 says:

    Belligerent occupation is different from a true state of war and may not confer the technical right to form a blockade.

    This is incorrect.

    Since Hamas is the de facto government of Gaza and a state of war exists between Hamas and Israel, this is in fact, a war as outlined by the San Remo Manual.

    Second, Sunday’s incident occurred 40 miles off the coast of Gaza, well outside the traditional blockade range.

    Again, this is incorrect. According to the San Remo manual, which is the law in this issue, the blockade can extend outward as far out as military needs dictate. Further, once the intent of blockade running is established, the blockading party can, in fact, board the offending vessel anywhere in the world. Israel was fully within the law to board the Mavi Marmara as soon as it left Cyprus territorial waters.

    This is what the law says.

    Finally, Israel has allegedly been firing on Palestinian fisherman, which is absolutely illegal.

    Do you have any evidence of this??

    Michale

    • Nafees says:

      Michale32086, your whole premise rests on the idea that Israel is at war with Gaza – which it has never formally declared (in fact it insists that it has withdrawn from Gaza) – and so your whole argument falls through. Objective opinions from numerous independent organisations from the UN to human rights organisations clearly state that what Israel is found is against the law.

      Even if it is at war, is this the way that Israel wants to be portrayed? – slaying innocent civilians who were clearly not prepared to take on militarily the might of the Israeli army? You are fighting an uphill PR battle against the world opinion that you cant win through lies and obfuscation.

      I think this humorous but depressing article perfectly characterising the kind of warped thinking you display:

      Mark Steel: Of course, they were asking for it

      06.02.2010 | The Independent

      It’s time the Israeli government’s PR team made the most of its talents, and became available for hire. Then whenever a nutcase marched into a shopping mall in somewhere like Wisconsin and gunned down a selection of passers-by, they could be on hand to tell the world’s press “The gunman regrets the loss of life but did all he could to avoid violence.” Then various governments would issue statements saying “All we know is a man went berserk with an AK 47, and next to him there’s a pile of corpses, so until we know the facts we can’t pass judgement on what took place.”
      To strengthen their case the Israelis have released a photo of the weapons they found on board, (which amount to some knives and tools and wooden sticks) that the naive might think you’d expect to find on any ship, but the more astute will recognise as exactly what you’d carry if you were planning to defeat the Israeli army. It’s an armoury smaller than you’d find in the average toolshed in a garden in Cirencester, which goes to show the Israelis had better destroy Cirencester quickly as an essential act of self-defence.

      It’s a shame they weren’t more imaginative, as they could have said “We also discovered a deadly barometer, a ship’s compass, which could not only be frisbeed at someone’s head but even had markings to help the assailant know which direction he was throwing it, and a set of binoculars that could easily be converted into a ray-gun.”

      That would be as logical as the statement from the Israeli PM’s spokesman – “We made every possible effort to avoid this incident.” Because the one tiny thing they forgot to do to avoid this incident was not send in armed militia from helicopters in the middle of the night and shoot people. I must be a natural at this sort of technique because I often go all day without climbing off a helicopter and shooting people, and I’m not even making every possible effort. Politicians and commentators worldwide repeat a version of this line. They’re aware a nation has sent its militia to confront people carrying provisions for the desperate, in the process shooting several of them dead, and yet they angrily blame the dead ones. One typical headline yesterday read “Activists got what they wanted – confrontation.” It’s an attitude so deranged it deserves to be registered as a psychosis, something like “Reverse Slaughter Victim Confusion Syndrome”.

      Israel and its supporters claim that Viva Palestina, made up of people who collect the donated food, cement and items for providing basic amenities such as toilets, and transport them to Gaza, wanted the violence all along. Because presumably they must have been thinking “Hezbollah couldn’t beat them, but that’s because unlike us they didn’t have a ballcock and several boxes of plum tomatoes”.

      One article told us the flotilla was full of “Thugs spoiling for a confrontation”, and then accused them of being “Less about aid and more about PR. Indeed, on board was Swedish novelist Henning Mankell.” So were they thugs or about PR? Did they have a thugs’ section and a PR quarter, or did they all muck in, the novelist diverting the soldiers with his characterisation while the thugs attacked them with a lethal spirit level?

      But some defenders of Israel are so blind to what happens in front of them there’s nothing at all they wouldn’t jump to defend. Israel could blow up a cats home and within five minutes they’d be yelling “How do we know the cats weren’t smuggling semtex in their fur for Hamas?”

      If this incident had been carried about by Iran, or anyone we were trying to portray as an enemy, so much condemnation would have been spewed out it would have created a vast cloud of outrage that airlines would be unable to fly through.

      But as it’s Israel, most governments offer a few diplomatic words that blame no one, but accept the deaths are “regrettable”. They might as well have picked any random word from the dictionary, so the news would tell us “William Hague described the deaths as ‘hexagonal’”, and a statement from the US senate said “It’s all very confusing. In future let’s hope they make every effort to avoid a similar incident.”

    • Hassan says:

      State of war can not exist between a state with not defined borders (Israel) and non-state (Gaza). In order to have a legitimate war, Israel must declare its border, and Palestine must be a state with defined borders.

  3. Michale32086 says:

    Let’s try this from a different angle.

    I fully and completely agree that Israel is not blameless in this mess. That Israel had made some grave mistakes and some really bonehead moves..

    Would you say the same about Hamas?

    Would you agree that Hamas is part of the problem and NOT part of the solution?

    I am just trying to find some common ground here.

    Michale

    • amad says:

      Sorry bud.
      We are NOT going to make this about hamas… this has nothing to do with hamas. Hamas was onboard that flotilla.

      And when we are ready to talk about hamas, be ready to talk about likud. They are opposite sides of the same coin. Both elected by people, both on the right of issues, both with extreme charters. One might use suicide bombers, the other uses flight bombers.

      But right now, it is about turkish civilians killed by Israeli commandos on international waters.

      • Michale32086 says:

        ))))We are NOT going to make this about hamas… this has nothing to do with hamas. Hamas was onboard that flotilla.((((

        With respect, this is completely about Hamas. If Hamas wasn’t around there would have been no boarding of the Mavi Marmara.

        Hamas IS the problem here.

        The sooner that ALL of the Palestinian people (not just the ones on the West Bank) realize this the better their lives will start to be..

        ))))And when we are ready to talk about hamas, be ready to talk about likud. They are opposite sides of the same coin. ((((

        This is simply not true…

        The difference between Hamas and the Likud is that the Likud sought to MINIMIZE innocent civilian casualties. Hamas seeks to MAXIMIZE innocent civilian casualties.

        It’s the difference between a terrorist and a soldier.

        ))))But right now, it is about turkish civilians killed by Israeli commandos on international waters.((((

        No, right now it’s the Arab combatants that were killed in self-defense by a legal boarding party.

        Once the activists armed themselves, they became combatants. Once they attacked the legal boarding party, they became hostiles.

        These are the facts, cold and impersonal though they may be.

        Michale

        • amad says:

          you are a hasbara joke.

          they are as factual as you are objective.

          Poor Israeli commandos, got attacked by sticks so they just killed a few. Cry me a river.

          the old, whiny, “Israel is the victim”… is SO yesterday.

          Two facts:
          1) Israel is the occupier of a nation
          2) Israel is a BRUTAL occupier of that nation

          EVERY NGO and humanitarian organization, INDEPENDENT organization, even WITHIN Israel agrees with this. Every country on the world except where the Israel Lobby has bought the government’s soul KNOWS this and agrees with it.

          If Israel was so right, why would they not allow international participation in the investigation?? And you’ll give me the BS of how the world is biased against poor Israel that we could not find a SINGLE neutral person to investigate it. The way your hasbara brigade literally slaughtered the honorable Judge (incidentally Jewish) Goldstone, perhaps no poor neutral soul might want to take it!

          Israel is a DISGRACE to the world community. And those who defend its disgraceful actions probably can’t sleep at night because of their shameless support.

          When YOU wake up to reality, Michale, I am sure there can be a reasonable discussion.

  4. Michale32086 says:

    As far as Likud goes…

    I am also constrained to point out that many of the attacks made by Likud that are mistakenly called “terrorism” were actually legitimate attacks against legitimate military targets.

    Michale…..

  5. Michale32086 says:

    The really sad thing here is that Hamas could live in peace right next to Israel if they would simply be content to live in peace right next to Israel..

    But as long as Hamas refuses to release Cpl Schalit, refuses to stop the terrorist missile attacks against innocent Israeli civilians and refuses to concede Israel’s right to exist, Israel will always have the legal and moral high ground. Israel will always have nearly carte blanche in dealing with Hamas and Gaza.

    And it’s sad because it’s the innocent Palestinian civilians and the innocent Israeli civilians who have to pay the price and suffer…

    My heart goes out to the innocent Palestinians. They too, are the victims of Hamas’ terrorism…

    Michale

    • amad says:

      The real sad thing is that you are such a fake in your alligator tears for “innocent civilians”. Because in your eyes, there aren’t probably any. Why not feel sorry for the leftist Israelis who have to be embarrased by their terrorist government’s actions? Doesn’t Israel feel sorry for brutalizing a people, forgetting its own history as a victim of brutality?

  6. Michale32086 says:

    Nafees,

    I appreciate your calm and rational response. It is really welcome.

    )))”which it has never formally declared (in fact it insists that it has withdrawn from Gaza) ”

    No formal declaration of war is required for a blockade to be imposed. According to the San Remo Manual, there need only be a state of belligerency. The same holds true for the Geneva Conventions. A formal state of war need not be declared for the Geneva Conventions to be in effect.

    In both cases, the San Remo Manual and the Geneva Conventions, all that is required is a state of belligerency. I am sure no one would deny that a state of belligerency exists between Israel and Hamas. And since Hamas is the de facto government of Gaza, such a state of belligerency extends to Gaza as well.

    “))))Even if it is at war, is this the way that Israel wants to be portrayed? – slaying innocent civilians who were clearly not prepared to take on militarily the might of the Israeli army? ((((

    “Innocent civilians” do not arm themselves with chains and and metal bats. Combatants do..

    ))))You are fighting an uphill PR battle against the world opinion that you cant win through lies and obfuscation.((((

    Actually, I am simply espousing the facts..

    Do you deny that the activists of the Mavi Marmara were armed?? Do you deny that they attacked the IDF boarding parties??

    None of these facts are in dispute.

    While the IHH may have gotten some good press in the initial reports, it is becoming clear to “world opinion” that the armed activists on the Mavi Marmara were the aggressors and that the IDF boarding parties acted in self-defense.

    Michale

    • amad says:

      Do you deny that the activists of the Mavi Marmara were armed?? Do you deny that they attacked the IDF boarding parties??

      None of these facts are in dispute.

      What, are you paid to type up these talking points and then pass judgements on them as well as if we’ll all believe you. In fact, these “facts” are Israeli propaganda. The activists were NOT armed. And if they attacked IDF “parties” (look at the choice of words as if this was a birthday pirty), it is because these party clowns were armed commandos prepared and ready to kill them. The burden of proof is upon the heavily armed trained individuals, not the victims.

      I told everyone that the hasbara will start making these commandos (“parties”) as victims and they will spread lies like wildfire. That is why I have a post on it:

      http://muslimmatters.org/2010/06/01/gaza-freedom-flotilla/

      Stop using this side post for dumping your orders.

      • Michale32086 says:

        “I told everyone that the hasbara will start making these commandos (“parties”) as victims and they will spread lies like wildfire”

        Yes, by all means..

        Ignore the person who is speaking of rational discourse and logical and objective discussions..

        Yes, ignore all that.

        Hold onto your hatred.. It has served you so well in the past, right?

        But, I can assure you of this.

        Eventually there WILL be peace in the region.. I know this to be true..

        And it will be in SPITE of people like you.

        It will be BECAUSE of people like me.

        Peace be unto you.

        Michale

  7. Michale32086 says:

    I would also like to point out that Hamas is refusing delivery of the “so desperately needed” aid that the IHH flotilla was carrying.

    Once again, we see that Hamas would rather score dubious points against Israel, rather than get aid to it’s people.. Hamas cares more for hating Israel than it does for taking care of Palestinians..

    Once again, the Palestinians in Gaza are on the losing end of Hamas’ hatred and ineptitude.

    Michale

    • amad says:

      I would like to point out that the first people to stop and attack the humanitarian mission was the terrorist state of Israel. Once again, Gaza is starving because of the blockade. There was blood on the stuff, and Hamas would be right to not allow Israel’s delivery as a propaganda tool. If Israel is so compassionate, OPEN the damn gates, so that 80% of the needed supplies can flow!

      • Michale32086 says:

        Amad,

        Your post is so loaded with hysterical inaccuracies, it’s clear that there can be no rational discourse between us..

        Ironically enough, this is the same impediment that prevents peace between Israel and Palestinians.. The hysterical and illogical hatred of anything Israel by Hamas.

        If Hamas is left to it’s devices to fester, then this can only end very very badly for the Palestinians…

        It’s a shame, it really is a shame..

        Michale

  8. Middle Ground says:

    Salam

    So much hatred, lies, spin and propaganda from Michale32086… I guess it shows his/her true colors.

    • Michale32086 says:

      “So much hatred, lies, spin and propaganda from Michale32086… I guess it shows his/her true colors.”

      Please point to ANY part of my posts that exhibit hatred or that is not factual in nature.

      You can’t, because it just ain’t so.

      But you are correct about one thing.

      Even though it doesn’t reflect in my postings, I do have a very intense loathing and hatred of terrorists..

      As any sane and civilized person would.

      If your only charge against me is that I hate Hamas because they are terrorists, then I concede the point with honor.

      Michale

      • Middle Ground says:

        I did not mention Hamas, and yet you accuse me of doing so, more spin on your part. Making excuses for killing innocent people who are trying to deliver wheelchairs sounds very hateful to me. Making out that army commandos who illegally boarded those ships have to ‘defend’ themselves against unarmed combats is pure lies and spin. Every post of yours simply shows that you have no problem with innocent people being murdered, while on this very site, there have been many, many blog posts condemning terrorism carried out by muslims. Just see the recent post on Faisal Shahzad, we muslims were not showing hatred against the people he targeted, nor were we trying to tell lies, or put a spin on what he did. Yet here you are, doing exactly that. I hate arguing like this, I am not going to reply to any more of your lies.

        • Amad says:

          And he also stated that Likud always tries to save innocent lives (yes all 1400 that died in the gaza massacre under a centrish govt — even scarier), while Hamas tries to kill them (all 13 of them).

          That’s a 100:1 ratio of killings.

          There are 2 types of hasbara brigades. One is the in-your-face, Netan-yahoo type, and the other is the soft-peddler.. kind of the good cop, bad cop. The yahoo types will be so outlandish, so lunatic that you will wonder what hit you. Then the soft-peddler will give in some of the outlandish claims, BUT still stick to the hasbara playbook and talk about peace at the same time (on ITS terms). And people will be left thinking that this “good-cop” is righteous.

          Michale represents the soft-peddler. You’ll notice he made ALL the claims that the Israeli government is peddling. That the blockade is legal, that attacking the ship was legal, that the commandos acted in self-defense, and in the end it’s all hamas’s faults. I preempted these and have already refuted them, so he chose a different post to start dropping his playbook. Always adding soft words, kind phrases, painting himself as the “rational” choice and those who can’t swallow his crap as the “reactionaries”.

          Be careful folks, millions and millions of dollars are being spent on the Israel PR offensive. These mercenaries come in all shapes, and they have time and money to argue with you all day.

          Unfortunately, Michale, I don’t have time to waste with your types so this conversation will be ending soon.

        • Michale32086 says:

          “I did not mention Hamas, and yet you accuse me of doing so, more spin on your part. “

          I never said you mentioned Hamas. You simply accused me of hatred within my posts. I told you there was none in my posts but that I DO have hatred for the terrorists, Hamas..

          “Making excuses for killing innocent people who are trying to deliver wheelchairs sounds very hateful to me.”

          There were no innocent people killed. There were armed combatants who were killed.

          Do you deny that the activists of the Mavi Marmara were armed?

          Yes or No??

          “I am not going to reply to any more of your lies.”

          With respect, it is you who is posting inaccuracies, not I..

          You claim that these were “innocent people”. They were not. They were armed. That made them combatants.

          The problem that you have is you want to play the victim. But video tape evidence taken BY THE ACTIVISTS on the Mavi Marmara clearly shows that the activists were armed with metal bars, bats and chains.

          Video tape evidence taken BY THE ACTIVISTS on the Mavi Marmara clearly show these armed activists, these combatants, viciously attacking the IDF boarding parties, even before they had boarded the vessel..

          These are not lies. These are FACTS recorded by the activists themselves.

          Now, you may spin all you want. You may prostrate yourself and whine and play the victim all you want.

          But you cannot dispute the facts of this issue..

          And the facts are clear.

          Fact #1. The Gaza blockade is perfectly legal and upheld by international law.

          Fact #2. The IHH Flotilla made it clear that their intent was to run the blockade, even though there are established procedures for getting aid into Gaza.

          Fact #3. Due to Fact #2, the Israeli Navy were perfectly within international law when the boarded the vessels of the IHH Flotilla.

          Fact #4. Upon this legal boarding, the IDF soldiers were set upon by armed combatants. The IDF soldiers, having no choice but to defend themselves, did so. Such self-defense is perfectly acceptable and warranted and is legal in every civilized nation in the world.

          These are the facts of this incident. And they are indisputable.

          Michale

          • Amad says:

            thanks for proving my point with your full “facts”. Almost humorous as you exactly did what I predicted! All your points are as factual as likud’s desire not to kill innocent civilians, and as factual as your desire for peace.

            If you want to read something from someone who cares about Israel, here’s a post of a TRUE Israeli patriot, someone who actually cares about her nation’s direction, not someone who will continue to take Israel to the gallows with crappy hasbara points:

            http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-06-01/israeli-patriot-brands-gaza-flotilla-raid-a-shameful-sin

            Read it Michale and then go argue with her about how unpatriotic she is. Pls leave us alone.

    • Michale32086 says:

      “thanks for proving my point with your full “facts”. Almost humorous as you exactly did what I predicted!

      Can you refute the facts??

      No you cannot.

      Ergo, the facts stand.

      This is how such cowardly machinations get perpetrated. You designate an object to hate, in this case a group of people. You completely ignore the facts and the reality of any given situation and resort to propaganda and personal attacks.

      It’s clear that you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

      Michale

      • Amad says:

        Did you even read the post on the FRONT PAGE of MM until a few minutes ago that counters all your points?

        The problem is that you think ONLY Israel is right and the entire world is wrong. Wake up and smell the coffee. Bye bye … time to retire back to your hasbara bosses and tell them that your “good cop” attempt failed.

  9. Johng7 says:

    The interdiction thus depends on the legality of the blockade of Gaza. If the conflict between Israel and Hamas is an international armed conflict (IAC), there is no question that Israel has the right to blockade Gaza. The 1909 Declaration Concerning the Laws of Naval War (the London Declaration), the first international instrument to acknowledge the legality of blockades, specifically recognized the right of belligerents to blockade their enemy during time of war. Article 97 of the San Remo Manual does likewise.

    But what justifies a blockade in non-international armed conflict (NIAC)? The London Declaration does not justify such a blockade, because it only applies to “war”– war being understood at the time as armed conflict between two states. NIAC is obviously important, because it is difficult to argue that Israel is involved in an IAC with Hamas. Israel’s defence of the blockade thus appears to create a serious dilemma for it. Insofar as Israel insists that it is not currently occupying Gaza, it cannot plausibly claim that it is involved in an IAC with Hamas. And if it is not currently involved in an IAC with Hamas, it is difficult to see how it can legally justify the blockade of Gaza. Its blockade of Gaza, therefore, seems to depend on its willingness to concede that it is occupying Gaza and is thus in an IAC with Hamas. But Israel does not want to do that, because it would then be bound by the very restrictive rules of belligerent occupation in the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    Blockades other than IAC are only legal with the approval of the Security Council, according to the Dictionary of International Law, and the Security Council has never approved the blockade of Gaza. In short, that it is difficult to argue Israel has the legal right to blockade Gaza.

  10. Slave of the Most Lovin One says:

    MIGHTY CURSE OF ALLAH SWT BE UPON YOU BRUTAL ISRAELIS AND BRUTAL PRO-ISRAELIS!!

    @Michale32086 You have been blabbering about Hamas and u said that Hamas is the reason for the trouble…. really??!! 6 DECADES of brutality we are talkin about!! way before Hamas was formed! so what is ur next lie about the reason for that? Whatever it is, dont let it out from ur filth filled being!

    Wonder who is backing u to write down crap over here!!
    You shameless liars!! No wonder abode of liars are Hell in the hereafter!!
    good luck!

  11. Slave of the Most Lovin One says:

    Brother Amad…may Allah SWT bless ur efforts to counter argue and bring out the truth!!

  12. Robert Tilden says:

    Since when does Hamas fallow International law?

    For that matter since when did any Arab army fallow international law?

    The honest truth is that international law is a joke. No one fallows international law.
    Did the French fallow international law in the Ivory Coast in 2004? No.
    Did the Iraqis or the Iranians fallow international law?
    Did the Jordanians fallow international law during Black September?
    Did Hamas fallow international law when they took over Gaza?
    Did Syria fallow international law when they deployed forces in Lebanon?
    Did Turkey fallow international law when they entered Northern Iraq?
    Did Saudi Arabia fallow international law when they entered Yeman only a few years ago?
    What international law did the Russians fallow going into Georgia?

    Hamas needs to fallow the Geneva convention and let the red cross visit Shalit and antil that happens they have no right to wave any inernational norms at Israel-

    May God smite Gaza off the face of the earth

    • elham says:

      Learn how to spell ”follow” not ”fallow”. Can’t stand it.

      Oh, and May God smite your kind off the face of the earth too, just like Israel claimed Ahmadinejad wanted to ”wipe Israel off the face of the earth”. I like that…”smite”…hmm.

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