Some facts on the recent attempted breakers of the Gaza blockade

There has been so much rhetoric and vitriol about the recent attempt by “peace activists” and “Humanitarians” trying to break through the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza that I felt compelled to compile them here. I know there will be people who do not like this point of view, but all I have done is compile the facts as presented. If you are open-minded about these facts then you can only come to the same conclusion that I have

There has been talk that Israel broke international law by boarding these boats and by stopping them from entering Gaza, this article from Reuters disproves those arguments and more.

CAN ISRAEL IMPOSE A NAVAL BLOCKADE ON GAZA?

Yes it can, according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law and codified in the 1909 Declaration of London. It was updated in 1994 in a legally recognized document called the “San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.”
Under some of the key rules, a blockade must be declared and notified to all belligerents and neutral states, access to neutral ports cannot be blocked, and an area can only be blockaded which is under enemy control.
“On the basis that Hamas is the ruling entity of Gaza and Israel is in the midst of an armed struggle against that ruling entity, the blockade is legal,” said Philip Roche, partner in the shipping disputes and risk management team with law firm Norton Rose.

CAN ISRAEL USE FORCE WHEN INTERCEPTING SHIPS?

Under international law it can use force when boarding a ship.
“If force is disproportionate it would be a violation of the key tenets of the use of force,” said Commander James Kraska, professor of international law at the U.S. Naval War College.
Israeli authorities said marines who boarded the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara opened fire in self-defense after activists clubbed and stabbed them and snatched some of their weapons.
Legal experts say proportional force does not mean that guns cannot be used by forces when being attacked with knives.
“But there has got to be a relationship between the threat and response,” Kraska said.

OPPONENTS HAVE CALLED ISRAEL’S RAID “PIRACY.” WAS IT?
No, as under international law it was considered a state action.
“Whether what Israel did is right or wrong, it is not an act of piracy. Piracy deals with private conduct particularly with a pecuniary or financial interest,” Kraska said.

Others have said that Israel is starving those who live in Gaza with the blockade but yet again the facts are against them here as well. Danish reporter Steffen Jensen visited Gaza to see for himself what the situation was

Yesterday I drove into the Gaza Strip. I don’t do this as often as before [because it takes much longer to get through the checkpoints now.]
This time, I had expected to see real suffering, because with all the fuss in recent days about bringing tons of humanitarian relief in – so much that people actually sacrificed their lives for it – there certainly had to really be a deep, desperate situation in the Gaza Strip. No food. Long queues in front of UN food stocks. Hungry children with food bowls.
But this was not the picture that greeted me…
Therefore I went over to the Shati refugee camp, also known as Beach Camp. Here is one of Gaza’s many vegetable markets that sell much more than just fruits and vegetables.

I will not say whether, in better times has been a larger product range than there was yesterday.But there was certainly no shortage of vegetables, fruits or any other ordinary, basic foods. Tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, watermelons, potatoes – mountains of these items in the many stalls.
I must admit I was a little surprised

Also if there was such a shortage of the items that were on the flotilla then you would have expected that they would have been gladly taken but

Israel has attempted to deliver humanitarian aid from an international flotilla to Gaza, but Hamas — which controls the territory — has refused to accept the cargo, the Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday.
Palestinian sources confirmed that trucks that arrived from Israel at the Rafah terminal at the Israel-Gaza border were barred from delivering the aid.

For those also who think that Israel starting the attacks on those on the boat, look at these videos to see who started the attacks

This is a good compilation of what happened through the whole incident

And one final video, This is of Prime Minister Netanyahu saying: “The Jewish state has a right to defend itself”



UPDATE:
For those who still have some thought that this had anything to do with humanitarian purposes

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