High-Seas Piracy: Israel’s Latest Bandit Act
“Gaza: the World’s Largest Open-air Prison”
By Stephen Lendman, Global Research, June 30, 2015
Previous articles discussed Israel’s seizure of the Swedish vessel Marianne Ship to Gaza carrying humanitarian aid despite Israel’s hollow denial.
Israel wants Gazans trapped indefinitely in the world’s largest open-air prison deprived of essentials for well-being – suffocated under a policy of slow-motion genocide.
Israeli commandos lawlessly seized the Marianne in international waters. Netanyahu saying it was done lawfully is one of a litany of Big Lies he claimed about the incident – a bandit act like so many others Israel commits endlessly.
A June 29 Ship to Gaza press release said “the ‘Marianne’ contacted the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) and informed us that three boats of the Israeli navy had surrounded her in international waters, while sailing approximately 100NM from Gaza coast.”
“After that we lost contact with the ‘Marianne’ and at 05:11AM (Gaza time) the IDF announced that they had visited and searched Marianne. They had captured the boat and detained all on board ‘in international waters’ as they admitted themselves.”
“The only positive content in the IDF announcement was that they still recognize that there is a naval blockade of Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s government recent denial that one exists.”
We have no reason to believe that Marianne’s capture was ‘uneventful’ (as Israel claims), because the last time the IDF said something like that, in 2012″ activists on board the Estelle were savagely tasered and beaten with clubs.
In 2010, nine Mavi Marmara participants were murdered in cold blood, another died later from injuries sustained. They were designated in advance for assassination.
Israel’s so-called “no tolerance” policy assures collective punishment against 1.8 million Gazans – victimized by rogue state ruthlessness.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) “condemn(ed) in the strongest terms the Israeli Navy’s interception and seizure of the first vessel of Freedom Flotilla III taking it to Ashdod seaport in Israel.
“PCHR believes that this attack is aimed to impose the conspiracy of international silence towards crimes committed by Israel against the Gaza Strip’s population, including the illegal closure that has been imposed for the ninth consecutive year.”
“The act of piracy committed by Israeli occupation forces against solidarity activists who came to the Gaza Strip, unarmed but with their moral strength, is another attempt to silence the voices of the free people of the world who wished to send a message to the whole world that the total siege imposed the Gaza Strip is inhuman, illegal, a man-made disaster and a part of an ongoing war crime against Palestinian civilians.”
Israel’s summer 2014 aggression left much of Gaza in ruins – not rebuilt because Israel blocks most construction and other supplies from getting in. It holds the entire population hostage to its ruthlessness – high crimes demanding accountability not gotten.
Monday evening, Israel’s Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority said it detained 16 foreign nationals for questioning. Deportation would follow.
Hamas condemned the “kidnapping” of activists on board, explaining Marianne “succeeded in showing the crime of blockade.”
Flotilla organizers said “(w)e once again call on the government of Israel to finally lift the blockade of Gaza. Our destination remains the conscience of humanity.”
They vowed to use “passive resistance,” not violence when lawlessly boarded. Israel operates by different standards. Brutality is standard practice.
Reports indicate its commandos tasered activists on board. It’s not know so far if they were beaten or otherwise abused. We’ll know more when they’re able to speak freely.
So far, they’re held incommunicado except for former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, Palestinian MK Basel Ghattas and European parliamentarian Ana Miranda – released in Ashdod.
RT International correspondent Nadya Kevorkova was on board the Marianne. Ghattas said she was OK and would be released Tuesday. He confirmed Israeli commandos attacked some activists. Slight injuries were sustained. Swedish participants were singled out for abuse.
Ghattas explained even though Marianne was seized, activists achieved their goal of “attract(ing) attention of the world toward the issue of the illegal siege and toward the illegal blockade over Gaza.”
Crew members left video messages prior to seizure. Marianne’s captain Joel Opperdoes said “(i)f you see this video, this means that we are under attack in international waters by Israeli Air Defense Forces.” Other messages were similar.
After weeks of reports about Freedom Flotilla III’ mission, The New York Times addressed it for the first time Monday – highlighting Israel regarding these “action(s) as highly provocative,” failing to explain lawless collective punishment against 1.8 million largely defenseless people for political, not security reasons.
Gazans remain trapped in rubble – “ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished,” as Franklin Roosevelt said about one-third of Americans during the 1930s Great Depression.
His solution was expanded social services. Israel’s is continued collective punishment and naked aggression at its discretion.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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