Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

My Personal Account: Rocket on Tel-Aviv

November 15, 2012

I haven’t written here in a long time. Life, and mostly school, took up too much time and slowly it became harder to write here. It came to the point, where I didn’t find the time to gather all the data for the “Rockets Fired into Israel” monthly account that I usually post. Mainly, because, there was more data than usual.

But now things are different. Tonight I experienced the rockets for myself. And my experience was so small and little compared to what the people of Israel’s south live – actually live with, on a weekly and sometimes daily basis – that I only now understand how all I’ve said about their terrible realities was something I could never understand and could never get across on paper.

I was at my school – the University of Tel-Aviv – tonight at 06:35 PM when a siren was heard. We started barely gathering our stuff and quickly running to the shelter. Waiting there, counting the minutes, hearing the sirens and fearing if it’s okay to walk out were the most terrifying moments imaginable. Walking outside, being outside at a bus station waiting to go home was the kind of fear that truly deserves the words terror. People of Sderot and Israel’s south in general – I applaud you for being able to live with this for so many years.

Maybe I should back up, but I assume you’ve already heard about the operation in Gaza. You might have also heard that it’s because (which it isn’t) Israel taking down Hamas’ military chief of staff (or head of terrorists, if you’d like). The truth is there were 3 round of escalation started by Palestinian terrorists in the last month alone. There were 110 rockets fired into Israel before this operation. Even when Israel didn’t retalite, the rockets kept on coming and hiting Israeli cities.

12,000 rockets have been fired over 12 years onto Israeli population. Today, hopefully for one-time only, two rockets were fired towards Tel-Aviv and thankfully missed populations. If you’ve never felt it before, you don’t know why it’s called terror!

So just to make things clear, here are a few facts about the matter –

In 2005, Israel withdrew completely from Gaza.

More rockets, more often, hit Israel following said withdrawl.
Palestinian Terrorists continued in their efforts to hurt Israeli civilians and attack Israeli soldiers.

In June 2006, one of many cross-border attacks ended with the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.

In 2007, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip with a violent coup, killing and torturing Fatah members who ran to Egypt and Israel for sanctuary.

Following said events, Israel implemented in 2007 a land blockade designed to seize and capture weapons shipped to Gaza terrorists and used against Israeli citizens daily.

Since Israel’s full unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, about 10,000 rockets were fired onto Israeli citizens.

In December 2008, the situation has become unbearable and Israel launched an offensive against Gaza terrorists (who were walking among civlian population, dressed as civilians and used civlians as human sheilds).

In 2009, following the offensive, Israel implemented a naval blockade as well.

In 2010, most of the land restrictions were lifted and only the naval blockade remained in place as a policy to simply check what enters the strip and prevent shippments of weapons (some of which sent from Iran to Gaza or Lebanon were captured). At any given day, Hamas is using less trucks than Israel offers to bring supplies into the strip. Gaza is inflicted corruption by the oppressors known as Hamas, not a blockade!

Rocket fire into Israel has once again become unbearable.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committee and more are the TERROR groups in the strip who force the people of Gaza to live in constant war of Israel for the simple truth –

Their declared ambition is to demolish Israel as a whole!

They are terrorists, with no disregard to lives – the lives of the people of Gaza or the lives of the people they fire upon daily with the hope of killing as much as possible.

My personal hope is that deterance would be reached soon. That the fighting would end. That they’d get the message and realize they’d better take care of their people by supplying them safety, stability and food, rather than hatred, incitement and war;  And that these rocket fire would stop!

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Burgas Terror Attack: The Casualties and What we Know

July 19, 2012
The Five Israelis Killed in The Terror Attack on Israel in Burgas, Bulgaria

The Five Israelis Killed in The Terror Attack on Israel in Burgas, Bulgaria

It has been over 24 hours since a suicide bomber – a henious despicable terrorist – blew himself up in Burgas, Bulgaria.

Seven people had died in the attack. Five of which were “his desired target” – Israelis. Israeli citizens aborad on vacation. I guess in his twisted warped costume of a mind, there’s an explanation to this action. Forgive me if I find absolutely no reason or sense in it.

The Israeli casualties are (pictures above from left to right):

  • Kochava Shriki, age: 44. She was pregnant.
  • Amir Menashe, age: 28.
  • Itzik Kolengi, age: 28.
  • Maor Harush, age: 25.
  • Elior Priess, age: 26.

I post their names and their pictures because they are not just “Israeli tourists in Bulgaria” or “Israeli citizens”. They are people with families. With children and/or parents, with friends. Two of the men who died were married. Their wives critically injured in the attack.

The Israeli Tourist Bus Burning after the terror attack (Burgas, Bulgaria)

The Israeli Tourist Bus Burning after the terror attack (Burgas, Bulgaria)

So what do we know?

A suicide terrorist was at the airport for several time, with the bomb, awaiting for the Israelis to claim their luggage at the airport and board the bus. Only when they were in concetration of Israelis and then ran towards bus #2 and blew himself up. He did not manage to physically get on the bus before doing so and the estimation is that had he been able to get on the bus, this event would have been much more catastrophical (and let’s not forget how tragic it already is!)

A nearby bus has always caught on fire. Buses were quickly catching on fire and people sitting inside the buses had to jump onto broken glass to survive the fire.

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BREAKING: Suicide Terror Attack Against Israeli Tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria

July 18, 2012

Burgas, Bulagaria - Fire near the Airport after Suicide Bomber exploded Israeli Tourism Bus

Approximately at half past 5 pm (GMT +02:00) an Israeli bus near the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria has exploded.

This was shortly after passengers arrived from a flight from Tel-Aviv. The Israeli tourism company that organized the trip had buses outside the airport waiting to take passengers to various hotels.

A suicide bomber got on bus #2, activited his explosive and blew up the front of the bus.

Early reports talk about 5 casulaties and dozens more wounded, some critically!

Some reports at the time of writing this lines mention 7 casualties, however they are still unverified.

Israel’s security forces (both military and civilian), as well as the ministery of foreign affairs, is in contact connection with the Bulgarian authorities. Israeli is preparing to send aid and its own rescue teams to help the victims.

This is, of course, still breaking news!

Burgas, Bulgaria (from Google Maps)

Burgas, Bulgaria (from Google Maps)


In the past year Iran, and its’ military daughter-branch Hezbollah – a terror group almost in de-facto control over the state of Lebanon – have taken many attempts to target Israeli citizens on vacation through the world.

Iran and Hezbollah have decieded that it’s okay for them to turn the world into their own sick board game and put citizens of all countries at risk, in their attempt to export terrorism (perhaps, because they fear targeting Israeli on its territory would lead to Israeli retailing similarly to Hezbollah’s attack in July of 2006).

Last January, Israel helped thwart a terror attack in Bulgaria. Terror attacks were also thwarted in Azerbaijan and Thailand.

Last March, a terror attack was thwarted in Georgia, and in India an Israeli Ambaassy’s personnel’s wife was harmed when her car was attacked after dropping her kids at school.

A few days later, an Iranian terror cell in Thailand has accidently triggered its’ bombs, cutting off the legs of one of its’ members in the middle of the street!

Last Month, Kenya has announced it captures terrorists of Iranian decent aiming Israeli target.

Last Week, Cyprus has announced that together with foreign intelligence agencies it captures a Labanese citizen, that entered the state with a Swedish passport, who was gathering information on Israeli tourism spots on the island.

This is just from the recent six month! Behind of all these clear connections to Iran and Hezbollah has been proven by the foreign governments – not just by Israel!!

This if without mentioned previous attempts (for instance in Argentina, today 18 years ago) and other related events (for instance, the Iranian conspiracy to assassinate the Suadi Ambassador in the United States).

In Preparation For the Violent “March to Jerusalem”

March 29, 2012

It has been a busy month. I’m sorry for now writing more and posting more. Unfortunately, there’s always things to write about. The horrible terror attack in Toulouse, the horrific escalation with Gaza militans a few weeks ago (which I wrote about at its’ start), and much more. And while “calm” has been restored the south of Israel (three mortar shells were fired tonight from the Gaza Strip so far), I had to take a little bit of time from my personal life, to address something that’s potentioally big.

You see, while I hope it doesn’t open any news broadcasts tomorrow because I truly hope (as well as the majority of people in Israel, and the most high of ranks in its’ government and military) tomorrow will be a casualties-free day. Unfortunately, odds are it won’t be this way.

A large group of Islamic organazations as well as radical-left activists (whose actions speak about their lack on interest in true atrocities and the excessive war against one entity in the whole world), are planning tommorow a provacation. One that is knowingly putting lives at danger, all for the cold cynical and despicable prospect of media attention and distortion.

While protests may take place around Europe (one is planned in front of the Israeli embassy in London), some may be a lot less peaceful. Organizers are planning to have people march towards Israel’s borders, inflitrate it, defy its’ soverignty and hope that camera worldwide would see them either blown up by mine fields and shot dead while committing the crime of “breaking and entering” a country, illegally, in defiance. THEY ARE OPTING FOR DEATH – AS LONG AS IT MAKES ISRAEL LOOK BAD – THEY’RE VICIOUSLY PRO-DEATH!

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A Response to a Hateful Commenter (though i’m sure he doesn’t consider himself one)

March 7, 2012

I received a comment today on an earlier post of mine, regarding Israel’s problem with a nuclear Iran, by someone simply going as Martin. More than most, while his comment accused me of blatant ignorance, he wrote a lengthy comment of the kind only Israel-Haters can right, filled with ignorance stemming mainly from the choice of being an ignotant in this subject, as well as premeditated one-sided conclusions and quite a few inflammatory comments. Mostly, when he couldn’t find anything more to write, he just chose to routinetly criticize the way I write. Well, congratualtions, Martin – you’re the first person to receive a post from me in reply to your comment.

I’ve decided to post Martin’s comment, to the letter, as I am pro free-speech and because for the most part, his comment didn’t any true incitement. Also, most of his comments will be brought here to comment on.

I do not wish to change his mind or of anyone belonging to his group – I’ve been around the web for enough time now to know that some would continue to be happy in their preset opinion.

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Terror Attacks Against Israeli Embassies In India, Georgia

February 13, 2012

After January 2012 saw three thwarted terror attacks against Israeli citizens and embassies around the world, Today one terror attack was luckily thwarted as well, while another could have ended much worse.

A Georgian embassy employee in Tbilisi, Georgia noticed an explosive in his car. It appears to have been an explosive gernade.

Almost simultaneously, A bomb went off near Israel’s embassy in New Delhi, India. Reports are still perlimentary, but it seems motorcycles threw an explosive at the car. The driver and two innocent bystanders were killed, as well as a diplomat’s wife, Tal Ishayahu-Koren, shortly after dropping her two kids in school. (

In the Pakistani terror attack on Mumbai in 2008, Israeli and Jewish locations were also targeted. Mumbai’s Beith Chabad (a branch of a jewish faction that caters to Jewish travelers around the world) was attacked. An Israeli tourists and the Rabbi and his wife that run the branch were brutally murdered. Their 3 year old son was heroically rescued by his nanny after over 48 hours of hiding inside the house.

Following the gruesome terror attack on India in 2008, Israel helped with its’ unfortunate knowledge and trained a newly established counterterrorism unit in India’s police force.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has already pointed the fingers at the obvious suspects – Iran and Hezbollah (who are also behind the thwarted terror attacks in January, at least according to officials in Thailand and Azerbaijan).

Yesterday marked the 4 anniversary of Imad Mornia, Hezbollah terror-group chief operations “officer”, death. Hezb0llah (whose men have been accused of assissinating former Labenese Prime Minister by the ICJ in Hauge) is blaming Israel for the explosion that killed him.

Explosion in South Lebanon is another evidence of Hezbollah’s breach of Resolution 1701

November 23, 2011

Late last night, around midnight, an explosion rocked the South Lebanon town of Siddiqin. Reports suggest that explosion took place in a weapons armory of terrorists group, Hezbollah. This is yet another evidence that Hezbollah is in constant violation of Security Council Resolution 1701.

At the end of the war between Israel and Hezbollah in Summer of 2006 (initiated by Hezbollah militants who crossed the international border, attacked an Israeli army patrol and abducted two resorved forces soldiers), the Security Council passed a resolution to enforce peace throughout the border – it stationed an international force UNIFIL to South Lebanon and have clearly stated that no arms are along south of the Litani River.

De-facto, said resolution has been breached from almost day one. Since the end of summer of 2006, Both Iran and Syria have been heavily arming Hezbollah who admits he has more weapons and militants today than in 2006, and most Western intellegint agencies (including Israel’s) say clearly that Hezbollah has over 40,000 rockets ready to be fired at Israel’s civilian population at any moment, especially in case of an international intervention in Syria (a la Libya).

Ever since summer of 2006 tensions have been rising high. A well-equipped Hezbollah is still deterred but as time fades it seems its’ next attack is not far. In the years that have passed, Hezbollah has estabilished itself stronger into government branches and is today almost the ruling party of the Labanese parliment. A terror group, no less, which has much more ammunition and soldiers than Labanon’s own official military. A terror group which single-handedly brought down the previous Labanese goverment after the International Court in Hague issued arrest warrants to five of its’ members with charges of murdering the former Labanese prime minister in 2005.

For over six years now, South of the Litani River has been flowing with weapons and militants. It’s almost a well-known fact. This explosion, which Hezbollah tonight denied was an armory (and has refused to give access to authorities), is another one in a string of evidence to show Hezbollah’s preparation for an attack on Israel. While its’ militants and high-ranks hide within civilian population, and while UNIFIL seems more decorative than actually doing everything it can to enforce Resolution 1701 and dismantle Hezbollah (at the very least in the south of Lebanon), the entire world knows (not an exaggeration). Knows but does nothing.

Yet when Hezbollah finally attacks (a matter of time, especially now with the situation in Syria), the world that kept quiet would be enraged by the conflict, the war and the civilian casaulties. The Security Council whose resolution are a mockery would assemble to condemn and bring forth another resolution that would in turn too have no effect in dismantling terror or the threats of terror against Israel. It’s exactly what happened after 2006. It’s exactly what happens right now.

Quick Q&A – What is Israel’s problem with a Nuclear Iran?

November 21, 2011

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve never written once about the Iranian issue. It’s one that is very complex and honestly, while Israel is the country most associated with anti-Nuclear Iran news, it is not an issue that is exculsive to Israel. But now, 2 weeks since the IAEA report about Iran, I figured maybe it’s time to lay it out – simple, flat and avoid the complexities. At least attempt it.

The following are a few “brief” answers to the core issues regarding Iran and its’ nuclear program. If you have more questions I haven’t addressed here, I’d be more than happy to answer them in the comments and add them to the post.

Here we go –

Which countries have nuclear weapons today?

United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and South Africa. Only the first five listed have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

According to countless reports around the world, Israel also has nuclear bombs.

Iran claims it is no moving towards a nuclear weapon, just nuclear energy, isn’t it?

Iran also claims it has free elections and absolutely no gay people — shall I continue?

The IAEA report heavily relies on many (and various) intelligence agencies that suggest otherwise.

What are the threats a nuclear Iran posses NOT to Israel?

Iran poses many threats to many countries – Israel is certainly not the only (or the first) who is in danger, though it is the one being heard most loudly on this subject.

First and foremost, the Iranian regime seems to hold to a believe that Iran is not limited to its’ current borders, but is entitled to the entire Persian Gulf. Many countries, such as Iraq and Bahrain, fear an attack from Iran. This is also a religious matter – a war between Sunni and Shiite, but goes much further than that. The fear is with nuclear weapons, Iran would not hesitate to attack its’ neighbors in an attempt to seize control over the Gulf area (where still currently many NATO soldiers are deployed), knowing that many countries would fear retaliation due to the possibility of a nuclear war.

Moreover, there’s a growing fear that the fear of a nuclear Iran would in fact ignite a nuclear race in the Middle East, which is the equivelant of lighting a match in a room filled with gas. The number of countries holding nuclear weapons would double, the instability would increase to unimaginable levels and chances for peace and calm in the area could very well be no longer possible. Many countries have already attempted to move towards nuclear energy in the past and were faced with pressure by the Western world recoginizing the instability ahead (close to home, some of these countries  are Jordan, Egypt and Hezbollah-ruled Lebanon. Syria’s nuclear powers were destoryed in 2007, supposedly by Israel).

Even further, there’s is a fear from what more Iran will allow itself to do (past possible attacks and attempts to conquer the Gulf area), such as the threats towards Europe. Iran’s missiles can now reach deep into Eastern Europe and could very well reach past Germany in the not-so-distant future. Iran’s declared contempt towards Western lifestyle and capatalism is no secret. Even without that, having Iran place missile battries that could fire at any second to the heart of Paris, Berlin, Brussels etc is a risk no many care to take, giving the behaviour of the Iranian regime.

And what are the threats to Israel itself?

First of all, the Iranian regime does not miss an opportunity to talk about what the call The need to wipe Israel off the map. They continually call Israel by the name of the zionist regime (and zionist dogs, devils etc) and refuse to call by its’ name, acknowledge its’ existence. Just today, an Iranian official said he hoped for an Israeli attack so Iran could have the chance to finally “throw Israel to the trashcan of history” — would you be comfortable having an ally that talks like that obtaining means of mass destruction?

Today, Iran funds many terror organizations working against Israel and mainly to hurt, harm and kill its’ citizens. Israel is faced with endless barraged of rockets fired upon it for almost 11 years now and it all comes from Iranian money. It was a major funder of Hamas until the uprising in Syria and it still funding over a dozen terror organizations in the Gaza Strip as well as Hezbollah – a terror organization with perhaps more weapons and soldiers than the Labanese army itself, which today almost completely de-facto rules the parliment of Lebanon, turning it in to a dummy state control by puppet master Ahmadinejad.

In 2002, while The Second Intifida was happening and suicide bombers were killing people on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, Israeli army caught a ship, named Karin A, loaded with weapons on its’ way to the terrorists from Iran at sea. In 2006, Israeli Navy caught a ship, Franco, with large amounts of weapons headed to Hezabollah. The latest capture known was in March of 2011 when the ship Victoria was captured and was found loaded with weapons hidden by humanatarian supplies, meant to be taken by foot to Gaza from the port.

With so much money, effort and time the Iranian regime spends arming terrorists who aim to kill and injure as many Israeli people – soldiers and civilians alike – as possible, Imagine what a nuclear Iran would allow itself to do? With what weapons it might allow itself to arm these terrorists?

If [supposedly] Israel has nuclear weapons, why can’t others?

See above — Iran is openly calling for the destruction of Israel and is constantly arming terrorists with weapons turned against Israel. Many countries fear a nuclear Iran, Wikileaks leaks proved that, but most of the immediate-threat countries cannot speak up because there’s a silence norm (almsot conspiracy) among Muslim and Arab countries. Many countries are afraid but rely on Israel to do the dirty work for them – another reason why they would never speak up.

What measures have been taken against Iran’s nuclear program already?

The Western world has called for talks to find a solution to allow Iran to have nuclear plants for peaceful purporses with the proper measurement taken to promise it won’t be used for a military purposes as well. Iran has rejects most of these talks and have used them to stall. Two years ago, it even ended the talks by signing a deal with Turkey and Brazil that will enrich uranium on Turkey’s soil rather than its’ own — in much larger quantaties that the West was willing to accept in the aforementioned talks.

There have numerous reports of viruses developed by Israel and the United States that have been targeting Iran’s nuclear plants. Iran itself has admitted its’ plants were attacked and its’ program has been slowed down and have blamed Israel and the United States for the attack.

Aren’t sanctions helpful?

Not really. It may be that the sanctions so far have not been hard enough to yield results, but the truth is Iran is still moving fast towards in nuclear plans and not slowing down really. The sanctions have been painful, no doubt, but it mostly took its’ toll on the civilian population, most of which already suffering to begin with by the regime that’s controling them. In one of the most unfree societies in the world (an accomplishment all in its own), and with the amounts of torture and killings inflicted by the regime and its’ authorities, many don’t have the chance and the opportunity to fight for their rights, as well as jobs, the economy and lifting of sanctions.

With its’ economy still deteriorating by the sanctions and more sanctions forced upon it, the Iranian regime still spends so much money on military plans, nuclear programs and funding of terror organizations. I can’t imagine there’s a satisfying amount left for the wellbeing of the Iranian people (though again – their wellbeing never seemed to be an issue for the regime).

So what… a military action is the only option?

Israel has a saying – “Always keep all options on the table.” A military operation is one of them. I cannot speak (because I do not really know) what the consequences and effiency an attack can have, but all options are on the table.

Just as with his speech before the US Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu always says that If you make sure the military option is placed on the table, you’d less likely need to use it. He hoped the deterance of such operation, just like the one Israel took before with Iraq in 1981 (and suppodely again with Syria in 2007), would be enough. Ironically, though, what many leaders around the world are doing is quiet the opposite – they’re revoking the military option time and time again, giving Iran the greener light to proceed in the meantime, and perhaps making the military operation they so oppose much more needed (unlike Israel’s stand that the more real it seems, the less likely it is to be used).

Seriously – Iran would actually use a nuclear weapon?

Honestly, I don’t really believe Iran having a nuclear weapon would mean it shall use it. But it will allow itself so much more, and will acquire psychological deterance… today it only sends “conventional” weapons to terrorists. Who will dare attack it tomorrow when it starts sending chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) to Hezbollah and the other terrorists it funds today and that today shoot blindly and proudly into civilian populations? Moreover, how much deterance will those terror groups get? How much power? That is the true danger of a nuclear armed Iran.

Turkey will counterterrorism?

September 22, 2011

Two days ago, On Tuesday September the 20th, a terror attack hit the Turkish capital of Ankara. Dozens were injured, at least three were killed. This is another attack in a long line of terror attacks against Turkey, supposedly (no real confirmation as of yet) by the PKK – a Kurdish terror organization, fighting violently for an independent state over territories belonging to Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.

Later that same day, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan met with United States President Barrack Obama. In their joint press statements, they both addressed and condemned the attack. Obama went as far as talking about Turkey one of the main players in the fight against terrorism. “This reminds us that terrorism exists in many parts of the world, and Turkey and the United States are going to be strong partners in preventing terrorism.” Really? Turkey?

Don’t get me wrong – this attack, as does any terror and violent attack should be and is condemned on the strongest of terms. The loss of life, especially in such as cowardly despicable way, is always tragic. But when it comes to battling terrorism, Turkey has always been interested in battling those fighting her and her alone. The recent tensions between Israel and Turkey, brought forth by the publication of The Palmer Report and a desire to use the bashing of Israel as the common denominator in the middle east, are only the recent examples of how Turkey under Erdogan’s rule constantly supports not only terrorism aimed at Israel, but terror in general.

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Turkey’s playing chicken

September 1, 2011

Unless there are (again) any last minute changes, Tomorrow (Friday, September 2nd) the Palmer Report will be submitted and handed to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. The Palmer Report is a summary of a UN inquiry into the flotilla incident at the end of May 2010 (where Israel’s Navy boarded a flotilla of ships sailing to break its’ naval blockade on Gaza and the erupted violence ended with the deaths of nine Turkish activists on board). After a long strain in relations, the flotilla incident marked the biggest rupture in Israeli-Turkish relations. The Palmer Report is an attempt by Secretary-General Moon in conducting an objective investigation of the incident (seeing as how the so-called “Human Rights Organization” in Geneva is controlled by a majority of anti-Israeli countries and holds a clear bias towards it). It is also an attempt to recover the relations between Israel and Turkey. That is one of the reason why the publishing of the report has been postponed time and time again since June 2011. It should be noted that this an agreed inquiry, the first of its’ kind, that had both an Israeli and a Turkish representative.

Turkey’s demands

Turkey claims that Israel has acted illegally. In its’ view, Israel assaulted civilians and peace activists sailing freely to Gaza in an attempt to break what they perceive as an illegal blockade. To Turkey’s narrative, Israel violated international law when it attacked the flotillas in international law and its’ soldiers boarded the ships with the intent of killings activists in order to deter future flotillas. It demands an Israeli apology to the incident and pay compensations to the families of the “victims”.

It should be noted that flotilla was not sailing under a Turkish flag, but rather the flag of the Comoros island. Nevertheless, its’ origin was well-known.

Israel’s narrative

Israel has a different view on things – first of all, this wasn’t the first and it wasn’t the last flotilla attempting to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. It was, however, the biggest. In only one out of six ships, there were casualties. Israel views its’ blockade on Gaza legal and a legitimate method of war against Hamas who took over the Gaza Strip by violence in 2007 and has declared war and terror against Israel’s civilians. The blockade is a method to stop large shipments of weapons that can from reaching Hamas and the other militants in Gaza. Such flotillas who has humanitarian aid cover large quantities of weapons and ammunition have been found in the past on “Karin A”, “Francop”, and last March on “Victoria”.

Israel’s narrative is that it gave the ships sufficient and numerous warning that they were about to enter a blockaded area and have been responded that they ships do not intent to change their course and that they are headed the blockaded Gaza. That is when Israel sent its’ Navy to stop the ships by boarding and seizing control over it. To Israel’s narrative, while the flotilla had over 600 activists, a group of a few dozens, boarded separately when the flotilla was docked in Cyprus (at a Turkish port, it seems). These were not peace-activists but terrorists with the sole intention of inciting, creating violence and harming the soldiers that would board the ship (Israel has noted that it will do so to any ship attempting to break its’ blockade and has done so in the past). Due to lack of intelligence, the soldiers were prepared to only except mild resistance and not head-on violence. It was then that they opened fire and in resulting battles the none-peace activists were killed. Also, during the confrontation, 4 soldiers were abducted by the activists, one managed to break free and jumped ship.

Regarding the claims of international waters, Israel maintains that since the destination of the flotilla was known and since its’ blockade is legal, it had every right to intercept the ships in international waters, a few miles off the waters of Gaza. It did so because the flotillas were sailing slow (in order to have the confrontation be at broad daylight), and wanted to intercept the ships at night. Israel refuses to the apologies for what it perceives as no more than a provocation and an attempt to harm its’ soldiers, as well as de-legitimize it. Israel’s official stand is that it refuses to pay compensations (although there were reports of it willing to pay through a third-party fund).

The Palmer Report

The Palmer report’s main points have already been leaked to the media before its’ initial publication date – June 2011. The most recent leak was posted by The New York Times today. Turkey has called the commission’s’ first draft “a difficult” one. It is known to say:

  1. Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal and adheres all international laws and principals regarding the imposing of a naval blockade.
  2. Israel’s interception of the flotilla in international waters was legal.
  3. However, there was a disproportionate response and soldiers took grave measures to protect themselves (The report finds that the Israeli soldiers were in danger and met great violence on board but their response was extremely harsh and disproportionate). The report is set to have eye-witnesses who claim to have seen soldiers firing live ammunition in many accounts. Israel has responded that it can give answer to any event. Its’ independent Turkel commission’s report have pointed out that it found 133 incidents of confrontation (among them three involving live ammunition being used and three others with physical force being used). It found 127 incidents, including those mentioned specifically (live ammunition and physical force) to be just and marked six others as not having enough evidence and material to determine either way.
  4. The report is highly critical of the organizers, the Turkish IHH organization, and has found that it made preparations for violence and has in fact organized a violent resistance.
  5. The report alludes to Turkey’s responsibility and spurring of the events, saying it did not make enough efforts to stop the activists.
  6. The report does suggest that Israel apologizes for the results of the interception and will find some way to compensate the families, but does not demand it or find it a necessity under international law.

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