Black Cloud Cast Over Anti-Israel Flotilla

June 29, 2011

As technical difficulties, dwindling participation, withdrawn insurance deeds and Greek bureaucracy threaten to set back the planned Flotilla to Gaza this week, yet another black cloud hovers: According to Haaretz,  an upcoming UN report into the deaths of nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara in 2010 is expected to strongly criticize Turkey’s involvement in the flotilla. It is also expected to defend the legality of Israel’s blockade of Gaza. In particular, the report is expected to highlight the relationship between Turkey and the IHH, the controversial Islamist charity that was responsible for organizing the flotilla.

In particular, the report will acknowledge that the blockade of Gaza is legal, and therefore Israel was justified in boarding the Mavi Marmara:

‘The committee determined that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is in keeping with international law, and therefore its actions to stop the flotilla were also legal.’

Second, while the Haaretz article suggests that the report will find that Israelis soldiers used ‘disproportionate force’, it will also acknowledge that they acted in ‘self-defence’. This would mean that the UN Secretary-General accepts Israel’s position that its soldiers only resorted to lethal force after being attacked by activists.


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