Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another Ship Aiming to Break the Blockade

So another ship, this time sponsored by Libya, that bastion of "human rights" and supporter of terrorism, is on its way to bring aid to the Gazan population. See location on map as of noon 14th July.
Israel has already taken a major measure to improve conditions in Gaza. In a move called a “welcome development” by the international Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia), on 20 June, the government of Israel decided to end all restrictions on the entry of civilian goods into Gaza. Therefore,

1. There is absolutely no need for another superfluous ship to the Gaza Strip. Gaza is open to all civilian goods, a fact known the Libyan government.

Restrictions are placed only on weapons, war materiel and items that can be used for military purposes. Still, it is important that all goods are checked to ensure that they are not on the restricted list of dangerous items.

Israel allows the transfer to the Gaza Strip of approximately 800 truckloads of supplies (15,000 tons) per week. The projected amount of supplies on the ship is less than the amount that Israel transfers to Gaza in a single day. This ship has nothing to do with humanitarian aid, and everything to do with creating a provocation and a public relations exercise.

2. The organizers of the ship have been offered the opportunity to avoid an unnecessary confrontation by delivering their supplies to Gaza via the Israeli port of Ashdod or the Egyptian port of El Arish

Israel allows boats to off-load their cargo at Ashdod port for transport to both the West Bank and Gaza after appropriate screening. Anyone truly interested in sending aid to residents of Gaza can use the existing overland channels, as do all the respectable international organizations.

Recognizing that “Israel has legitimate security concerns” the Quartet declared (21 June) that it “urges all those wishing to deliver goods to do so through established channels so that their cargo can be inspected and transferred via land crossings into Gaza. The Quartet emphasizes that there is no need
for unnecessary confrontations…”

The US State Department issued (13 June) a similar statement that refers directly to the Libyan ship:
“we are conscious of the fact that there is a Libyan aid ship en route to Gaza as we speak, and that we, along with our partners in the Quartet, urge all those wishing to deliver goods to do so through established channels so that their cargo can be inspected by the Government of Israel and transferred via land crossings into Gaza. We have urged the Libyan Government to avoid unnecessary confrontations. We call on all parties to act responsibly in meeting the needs of the people of Gaza.”

That is why there is absolutely no need for any “humanitarian flotillas” to Gaza. So said (21 June) Tony Blair, when referring to the Israel’s updated policy. He stated that “if we implement this policy so that the things that people are trying to bring in by flotilla you can bring in through the legitimate
existing crossings, do it that way. That is the more sensible way to do that.”

Just last Friday (9July), the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy expressed her apprehension regarding more ships headed for Gaza: "I am concerned about reports of further ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. I would like to call on all of those involved to exercise calm and restraint at this particular juncture…. An escalation of tensions and unnecessary confrontations should be avoided.”

3. The purpose of the ship is to create a provocation and to open a sea lane to Gaza that will allow the free entry of weapons and terrorists.

The ship is nothing more than an attempt by the radical axis in the region to cause the peace efforts currently being led by PM Netanyahu and President Obama to fail.

The organizers are attempting to do by creating a provocation that will embarrass Israel, as well as opening a new maritime route to Gaza for Hamas weapons and terrorists. This is not a humanitarian aspiration, but rather a hostile intent.

The proof of the fact that the goals of the organizers of the ship are political can be found in their own words. The Gaddafi Foundation published (11/6) on its website a notice reading: "Had our destination been the El Arish port, we would have spared ourselves the time and the effort, given money and sent a land convoy as we did last year."

A potential threat has already been conveyed in the words of a passenger. Atzam al-Sudani stated in an interview to al-Jazeera television that: “As Muslims, we are not afraid of death. On the contrary, we love shahada” [a martyr’s death for Allah’s sake].

4. Israel acts in accordance with international law.

The maritime blockade off the coast of Gaza was established in accordance with international law and conventions. It is designed to prevent the large-scale smuggling of weapons to be used against Israel by the Hamas terrorist organization. As Tony Blair noted (9 June) "There's no question that there are
rockets fired from Gaza and that there are people in Gaza who want to kill innocent Israelis. When it comes to security, I'm 100 percent on Israel's side. Israel has the right to inspect what goes into Gaza."

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