Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby nowfocus » Mon May 31, 2010 7:50 pm UTC

Kulantan wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:At least according to the Israelis, the soldiers had paintball guns because they weren't expecting violence, period.

I'm not sure that is a good enough reason. While I fully understand that the level of violence aboard the MV Mavi Marmara was unprecedented (no matter how you look at it), it's still a failing to arm them for an amusement or a live fire terrorist take down situation but nothing in between. Given that there were 700 (angry, scared and untrained) people aboard the flotilla they should have been prepared, at the least, with tasers just like normal law enforcement agents who also have no assumption of trouble occurring.


I was under the impression that tasers were not effective weapons when vastly out numbered. You fire a taser - take down one person, but then thats it. Also, seeing someone electrocuted would further rile up the crowd. It wouldn't be a good weapon for repeling a group of 10 people.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Kulantan » Mon May 31, 2010 8:11 pm UTC

My point is this:
Kulantan wrote:("a paintball won't stop them, we have to shoot them dead" seems a bit weak when they could have been armed with tasers or beanbag rounds)

I agree that tasers might not necessarily be the best thing for it but paintballs certainly weren't. Other LTL weaponry (like the aforementioned beanbags) should have been on hand to subdue those on board the ships who were frustrated enough, that the aid they were carrying wouldn't reach the people that need it, to attack armed soldiers.
No matter how you slice it, the loss of life here is tragic and should have been avoided. Comments like:
The Reaper wrote:Good riddance to bad rubbish.

make me want to come through the screen a punch the people who made them. While the activists may have attacked the Israeli soldiers first (and for me that is a big may), the blame for killing ten people does lie with the soldiers. If they were unprepared for crowd control of the boats then procedure needs looking at and fixing. It is not acceptable that ten people lost their lives while trying to deliver humanitarian aid to a populace who desperately need it.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Cmebeh » Mon May 31, 2010 8:24 pm UTC

Kulantan wrote:make me want to come through the screen a punch the people who made them. While the activists may have attacked the Israeli soldiers first (and for me that is a big may), the blame for killing ten people does lie with the soldiers. If they were unprepared for crowd control of the boats then procedure needs looking at and fixing. It is not acceptable that ten people lost their lives while trying to deliver humanitarian aid to a populace who desperately need it.


Watch these:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYjkLUcbJWo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6jDIQr5 ... re=related

After watching them i realized that if I was one of these soldiers i would have killed as many of these idiots as i could.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon May 31, 2010 8:28 pm UTC

Cmebeh wrote:
Kulantan wrote:make me want to come through the screen a punch the people who made them. While the activists may have attacked the Israeli soldiers first (and for me that is a big may), the blame for killing ten people does lie with the soldiers. If they were unprepared for crowd control of the boats then procedure needs looking at and fixing. It is not acceptable that ten people lost their lives while trying to deliver humanitarian aid to a populace who desperately need it.


Watch these:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYjkLUcbJWo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6jDIQr5 ... re=related

After watching them i realized that if I was one of these soldiers i would have killed as many of these idiots as i could.

Well come on, there's no reason to say that. Idiots? Certainly. Paranoid about Israeli/Jewish "aggression" due to being bombarded with anti-Semitic propaganda their whole lives? Most likely. Worthy of being killed for the moronic way in which they self-fulfilled their paranoia? Absolutely not.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Kewangji » Mon May 31, 2010 8:36 pm UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:At least according to the Israelis, the soldiers had paintball guns because they weren't expecting violence, period. They would think that way for good reasons, too, the previous Free Gaza Boats were, in fact, non-violent.

This is why I'm skeptical of the rioters' account. Other Free Gaza Boats were taken and towed to Ashdod without casualties or violence. Their aid was distributed into Gaza via a crossing. From what I've heard, that's exactly what will happen to this flotilla now that the Israelis have captured it. There is literally no logical reason that the Israelis would engage in a shoot-to-kill policy, unless you presuppose that the Israeli army just likes killing people. It appears that the "activists" were making precisely that presupposition and decided to make a brave last stand while also netting themselves favorable media coverage. It worked, in the most self-fulfilling and cynical way.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Cmebeh » Mon May 31, 2010 8:55 pm UTC

Cmebeh wrote:LOL you computer scientists; isn't it obvious? P = NP is undecidable à la continuum hypothesis

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Mon May 31, 2010 8:59 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Even if they were principally interested in a confrontation that would still be all about helping people.


Yeah, except such an interest has certain consequences to it.

Dream wrote:With two soldiers. One in the helicopter, one on the rope. Guess which one shoots. Miraculously, that wouldn't show up in the video at all.


Actually, it would -- it'd take the form of activists running for cover instead of engaging soldiers in the open.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Iv » Mon May 31, 2010 9:15 pm UTC

I should have known better than wishing such a thread would not derail... Can we try to gather as much elements as possible and not judge yet ? Can't we just admit that both side were able of major fuck-ups and try to get the chronology of events ?

Here is a video from the other side. I wish I understood Arabic but about 1/3rd is commented in English :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB-Mk4bFz-U

It could be a backlighting effect with the powerful boat lights but it appears to be made of sequences in non chronological order. The video shows the arrival of Israeli soldiers and quite confirms that they were fought and beaten once they landed on the deck (I find it astounding that none of them died. I simply don't understand how this is possible if the crowd really had axes and knives). The ship's crew also claims that they were being shot live ammunition and stun grenades despite a white flag being raised. It is unclear whether they raised it before or after the assault. I understand that they raised the flag after the helicopter assault, but the casualty counts makes it unclear (only one died of wounds at the time). If someone speaks Arabic, could you please give us a more precise account of the claims ? From what I understand, there was at least tear gas being shot at the boat before the assault.

There is one thing I don't understand however : the deck is full of people, very agitated. The Israeli helicopter sees it very clearly. The crew is not collaborative at all. So why do they send troops in the middle of the crowd ? This looks like a very poor decision (just to be clear, I really don't care about the right or wrong, I am just looking at this from a purely tactical perspective, please don't assign "good guy" or "bad guy" value to any of my remarks, I am just uninterested by this). Did the soldiers/helicopter pilot have IR vision ?

One scenario this video and the Israeli's video disproves is the ambush scenario : the crew members were in the open, their weapons were completely improvised. If it had been an ambush, at least the first two Israeli soldiers would have been killed. The first one at one moment had at least three people over him. If one had a knife and intent to kill, the soldier would be dead.

On the legal standpoint I still have a hard time believing that boarding a boat in international waters is legal. I would love more details on that.

yoni45 wrote:
Dream wrote:With two soldiers. One in the helicopter, one on the rope. Guess which one shoots. Miraculously, that wouldn't show up in the video at all.

Actually, it would -- it'd take the form of activists running for cover instead of engaging soldiers in the open.
Keep in mind that it was night, that shots were also allegedly arriving from other ships and that an helicopter's noise can make it quite hard to know were the shots come from.

But I must say that I would be surprised if the soldiers in the helicopter did not respond to the attack of their colleagues. At this point the fuck-up was already inevitable.

Also, Israelis probably have the footages of the whole operation. I would like to see how they killed the 19 activists, that would clear up a lot of questions and quite possibly clean them of many allegations.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby nowfocus » Mon May 31, 2010 9:22 pm UTC

Kulantan wrote:My point is this:
Kulantan wrote:("a paintball won't stop them, we have to shoot them dead" seems a bit weak when they could have been armed with tasers or beanbag rounds)

I agree that tasers might not necessarily be the best thing for it but paintballs certainly weren't. Other LTL weaponry (like the aforementioned beanbags) should have been on hand to subdue those on board the ships who were frustrated enough, that the aid they were carrying wouldn't reach the people that need it, to attack armed soldiers.


First - there wasn't an indication that the aid wouldn't reach the target - just that they wouldn't deliver it themselves. It would go through an Israeli port like previous convoys.

Second - if you read the Israeli account, you'll see that they only used live rounds when they were under small arms fire. The account is below, and is consistent with the video

According to the Israeli military, activists armed with knives, bats, slingshots used for shooting glass marbles, and metal pipes attacked commandos as they fast-roped from helicopters. Soldiers were reportedly beaten badly, but attempted to fight back. The Israeli commandos said there were prepared to encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, and were armed with paintball guns and sidearms. The commandos were instructed not to use the sidearms except in an emergency, when their lives were at risk. According to the Israeli Navy, the soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists to give up, and if not successful, use paintballs. The army instructed the commando soldiers to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances. A soldier was said to have been stabbed and seriously injured. The Israeli military said that activists grabbed soldiers and tried to hold them hostage, stripping them of their helmets and equipment. An Israeli commando said "There was live fire at some point against us... They were shooting at us from below deck." A second helicopter ferried in an additional 30 commandos who were also attacked as they descended. A firebomb and stun grenade were both thrown at troops. The commandos remained pinned down, and the planned rush towards the vessel's bridge became impossible. Commandos also boarded the boat from rubber dinghies, but activists beat their hands as they climbed aboard. Stun grenades were used in an attempt to disperse protesters, but the protesters continued to attack soldiers. One was stabbed with a knife. Some soldiers had their guns wrested away, and one was thrown to the lower deck 30 feet below, where he sustained a severe head injury. After this, the commander of the operation authorized the use of live ammunition. Commandos pulled out their handguns and began firing at the protesters legs, prompting a few protesters equipped with firearms wrested away from soldiers to return fire. Commandos then shot to kill, and fired at the protesters who were attacking them with firearms, metal bars, slingshots and knives, but managed to reach the bridge and take over the Marmara after 30 minutes.


Edit: Watched some of the other video. Pretty consistent with the Israeli video in that you see three soldiers rappell down and get beaten with metal bars without fighting back.

Also - if the white flag is raised over your ship - what the hell are you doing attacking people who are boarding it?

Also - note how all the images in the news are taken from the last minute of that clip - though none show the guy attacking the soldier with the metal bar.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby crowey » Mon May 31, 2010 9:36 pm UTC

Why is everyone ignoring that this happened in international waters? The Israeli military had no authority to board those ships.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby nowfocus » Mon May 31, 2010 9:49 pm UTC

crowey wrote:Why is everyone ignoring that this happened in international waters? The Israeli military had no authority to board those ships.

It arguable is legal - its a blockade on a hostile entity. Here is the Israeli perspective: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/HumanitarianA ... y-2010.htm
Jahoclave wrote:Besides if you observe romance, you change the outcome. Especially if you put his/her friend Catherine in a box.

Menacing Spike wrote:Was it the copper hammer or the children part that caused censoring?

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Kulantan » Mon May 31, 2010 9:51 pm UTC

nowfocus wrote:First - there wasn't an indication that the aid wouldn't reach the target - just that they wouldn't deliver it themselves. It would go through an Israeli port like previous convoys.

See my previous post.
nowfocus wrote:Also - if the white flag is raised over your ship - what the hell are you doing attacking people who are boarding it?

Perhaps, just perhaps the people raising the flag and those with metal bars are different folk?
crowey wrote:The Israeli military had no authority to board those ships.

They say that under section 67A of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea (ctrl-f blockade) they were allowed to take this action. Lots of people are disputing this claim but tis not a clearcut illegal as it seems.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Mother Superior » Mon May 31, 2010 10:05 pm UTC

When armed men are trying to board your boat illegally, the logical response is usually to resist them, if you can.

Turkey appears to also be taking this rather well:
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/turkey-threa ... 743-2.html

And we're off.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby MartianInvader » Mon May 31, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

From what I can see in the videos, it looks like it started as a panic-response thing by the passengers. The soldier rappelled into the middle of them because he didn't think they'd resist. But there was (obviously) a huge amount of tension - everyone on board hated the Israelis for their blockade etc., and now they were being boarded, which certainly could feel like an attack. It would only take one guy throwing a punch to turn the mood into "Defend ourselves!" Then the crowd turned into a mob.

It looks like the improvised weapons came later (after the cuts in the videos), once the fight had been going on for a while, and people realized attacking a soldier with a chair might be better than just using your fists.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon May 31, 2010 10:48 pm UTC

MartianInvader wrote:From what I can see in the videos, it looks like it started as a panic-response thing by the passengers. The soldier rappelled into the middle of them because he didn't think they'd resist. But there was (obviously) a huge amount of tension - everyone on board hated the Israelis for their blockade etc., and now they were being boarded, which certainly could feel like an attack. It would only take one guy throwing a punch to turn the mood into "Defend ourselves!" Then the crowd turned into a mob.

It looks like the improvised weapons came later (after the cuts in the videos), once the fight had been going on for a while, and people realized attacking a soldier with a chair might be better than just using your fists.

I think this is an account with a very high probability of being true, but that still doesn't explain how one of these "activists" had a firebomb.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby JonScholar » Mon May 31, 2010 10:53 pm UTC


Two Turkish activists were reported to be among those killed in the flotilla. Ankara warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy, a development with unpredictable consequences


You know what? I'm ok with this. The Gaza people need aid. They need building supplies. They need food. Israel is performing a blockade that has absolutely destroyed their country. I think it's about time a modern military force takes sides with the Palestinians. Because at this point, that's the only way I can see the Palestinians seceding from Israel.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Mother Superior » Mon May 31, 2010 11:05 pm UTC

JonScholar wrote:

Two Turkish activists were reported to be among those killed in the flotilla. Ankara warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy, a development with unpredictable consequences


You know what? I'm ok with this. The Gaza people need aid. They need building supplies. They need food. Israel is performing a blockade that has absolutely destroyed their country. I think it's about time a modern military force takes sides with the Palestinians. Because at this point, that's the only way I can see the Palestinians seceding from Israel.

I'm cool with it, too. It'll be a shame if it leads to war, which frankly isn't a very remote possibility. But hey, the Israeli government attacked a Turkish-flagged vessel in international waters, resulting in the death of some of Turkey's citizens. Most people would consider that an act of war. If all Turkey does is escort the boats to Gaza, good. If not, well, you make your bed...
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon May 31, 2010 11:13 pm UTC

I think I speak for everyone by responding to this development with a hearty FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, can we not have a fucking war break out every fucking year!?
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Robstickle » Mon May 31, 2010 11:31 pm UTC

Iv wrote:On the legal standpoint I still have a hard time believing that boarding a boat in international waters is legal. I would love more details on that.


If the blockade is legal then so is the boarding. The ship was planning to go through the blockade so Israel was in it's legal right to board them. I think international law is fairly clear on that.

Whether the boarding was justifiable in any other sense is still up for debate though.

Edit: I wonder how relevant this is.

Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality

5.1.2(3) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search, capture or diversion.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Diadem » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:29 am UTC

Dream wrote:The activists claim the soldiers landed shooting. Could they have fired shots in order to clear a landing area? Could they have fired from the helicopter? Could there be another helicopter in another part of the ship? Could this be their second attempt at landing? There is also at least one cut in the video, or two. There could so easily be so much more to this than what is shown in the video, which, lest we forget, was released be people with an immense interest in showing this to be the fault of the activists.

Yes, and maybe those activists were Israelis agents hired to incite the crowd just so the military had an excuse to off some of them.

I mean, if we're throwing around completely arbitrary and made up scenarios we might as well go all the way, right?

The video does not show the full picture, that's true. But it does show several things very clearly. One is that the activists attacked the soldiers first. Only after several of the soldiers get beat up do they even draw their guns. From the behavior of the people prior to that it's also quite clear that they weren't being shot at, or tear gassed, or stun grenaded, before that. The video has two cuts in it, which is a shame. But the chronological order of what happens is still clear, and while we don't know what happens during those cuts, it's clear that the Israeli soldiers certainly didn't fire before the first cut, and most likely didn't during those cuts, as the scene afterwards would hafve been different then. It's not 100% impossible, but you'd have to be pretty damned paranoid to think it.

It also looks like the Israeli military horribly underestimated the situation. That's bad thing. But in no way at all does that lay the blame of these deaths at their feat.

I understand that you're biased against Israel. That's ok. But if your side is caught on tape in such a blatant lie, at least have the decency to admit it.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:52 am UTC

Mother Superior wrote:But hey, the Israeli government attacked a Turkish-flagged vessel in international waters, resulting in the death of some of Turkey's citizens. Most people would consider that an act of war. If all Turkey does is escort the boats to Gaza, good. If not, well, you make your bed...


That would make most people quite incompetent when it comes to determining acts of war.

Having a Turkish flag, departing from Turkey, or even being Turkish doesn't make it a "Turkish" vessel (ie, one that is sanctioned by the Government of Turkey).

Further, the vessel's choice to break the blockade is itself an act of war against Israel, so even had it been a 'Turkish' vessel, it'd be Turkey committing the casus belli here.

And if Turkey does decide to pursue such an act of war against Israel, it'll be quite unfortunate, but only they will be to blame for the Turkish lives lost in the process.

Mother Superior wrote:They say that under section 67A of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea (ctrl-f blockade) they were allowed to take this action. Lots of people are disputing this claim but tis not a clearcut illegal as it seems.


Seems to me that actually makes it pretty clearcut legal.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby aleflamedyud » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:11 am UTC

It also looks like the Israeli military horribly underestimated the situation. That's bad thing.

What's fucked here is the implied statement that Israeli soldiers and Israel never have any right to self-defense, no matter how non-violent their initial tactics.

Israel offers the boaters safe and free passage to Ashdod to unload their aid and pass it to Gaza Strip, as has been done before. Never, we're FREEING GAZA!

Israel warns the boats to turn away from the blockade area. FORWARD!

Israel sends soldiers to divert the boats with the least violent means possible. ATTACK!

Israeli soldiers finally start defending themselves and the resulting death rate is 1/30 tops. HOW DARE YOU MASSACRE OUR INNOCENT CIVILIAN ACTIVISTS!

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:25 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:
It also looks like the Israeli military horribly underestimated the situation. That's bad thing.

What's fucked here is the implied statement that Israeli soldiers and Israel never have any right to self-defense, no matter how non-violent their initial tactics.


Er, the only implied statement there is that Israel should have been better prepared for the potential outcome of the situation.

And I can't say that's unfair. Tbh, I think it's a miracle* none of the soldiers ended up dead -- they practically served them up on a silver platter.

* and by miracle, I mean a fortunate combination of the fact that this happened at night, a lack of activist competence in the matter, and better training and equipment on the part of the soldiers.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Adamah » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:31 am UTC

It probably would have worked out better for Israel if one was killed. People see the 10-0 headline and assume a massacre, regardless of the circumstances. After watching those videos, I'm really surprised none of the commandos were killed. I bet the commandos thought some of their comrades had been killed when they opened fire too.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Cmebeh » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:53 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:I think I speak for everyone by responding to this development with a hearty FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, can we not have a fucking war break out every fucking year!?


Are you kidding? Having a war break out would be great for the American economy, since we would be the ones selling all the weapons (and the chineese would make out pretty good too) and we all know the rest of the civilized world's economy is tied to the US economy, so there will be this trickle down effect and then no more recession!
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby aleflamedyud » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:00 am UTC

Cmebeh wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:I think I speak for everyone by responding to this development with a hearty FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, can we not have a fucking war break out every fucking year!?


Are you kidding? Having a war break out would be great for the American economy, since we would be the ones selling all the weapons (and the chineese would make out pretty good too) and we all know the rest of the civilized world's economy is tied to the US economy, so there will be this trickle down effect and then no more recession!

This is not the time to troll like that. Iran is taking serious steps towards building a nuclear bomb, Turkey is turning Islamist, there is a concerted effort to make Israel into a pariah state not merely regardless of but in spite of its actions, and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are still radicalizing people and inciting prejudice among Muslims! THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME TO JOKE ABOUT WORLD WAR III!
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Kayangelus » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:19 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:
Cmebeh wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:I think I speak for everyone by responding to this development with a hearty FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, can we not have a fucking war break out every fucking year!?


Are you kidding? Having a war break out would be great for the American economy, since we would be the ones selling all the weapons (and the chineese would make out pretty good too) and we all know the rest of the civilized world's economy is tied to the US economy, so there will be this trickle down effect and then no more recession!

This is not the time to troll like that. Iran is taking serious steps towards building a nuclear bomb, Turkey is turning Islamist, there is a concerted effort to make Israel into a pariah state not merely regardless of but in spite of its actions, and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are still radicalizing people and inciting prejudice among Muslims! THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME TO JOKE ABOUT WORLD WAR III!


I don't think a world in the middle east would turn into WW III.

At which point, it would all come down to a question of what do you value more: the lives the people that would be lost, or an economic recovery.

Well, it would come down to that question, except I'm pretty sure Iraw and Afghanistan have demonstrated that we are really bad at making money off of wars that we part take in.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Apteryx » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:32 am UTC

Well, the evidence is clear that this had been planned all along on that particular boat. People don't just happen to have clubs in their hands when they see modern soldiers coming. When you see an Israeli soldier ( or any soldier for that matter ) in uniform you know you are getting shot dead if you run at him and hit him with a stick or an axe. On a boat or on the beach or anywhere at all.

So for a group of them to have clubs, and attack uniformed soldiers, knowing they had backup nearby, these guys had planned ahead of time to be killed.

You only have to give them credit for being as intelligent as yourself. If you saw a group of Israeli soldiers board your boat, would you expect to be killed if you knocked one down with a club?. And the rights or wrongs of the boardings are not an issue , ignore the rights or wrongs of them being aboard, sailors of peoples navies board a thousand boats all round the world, everyday.

Anyone saying that somehow this wasn't planned right along to the graveside, is somehow saying the guys on the boat were extremely thick, it is a kind of cultural prejudice. Turkish blokes are pretty normal in my opinion, at least as smart as anyone else.

They went along planning to make martyrs of themselves.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby zombie_monkey » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:33 am UTC

Apparently neither Israel nor Turkey have signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which restricts territorial waters to 12 miles. Turkey because of disputes with Greece, Israel because they think that would make it impossible to defend themselves meaningfully. That puts Turkey's protests in an... interesting perspective (makes them look a bit stupid I think).

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby scikidus » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:24 am UTC

Well, isn't this just bloody fantastic.

I'm surprised/glad neither Turkey nor Israel has played the "allies with the US" card (yet). It basically becomes this schoolyard peer pressure thing.

Turkey: Hey, Israel, that wasn't cool at all. Do you want to fight?
Israel: Look, that ship clearly wasn't obeying the blockade. But don't be aggressive with me.
Turkey: Oh, you don't like tough guy, huh? Well I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Hey, America!
*America stops looking away, twiddling thumbs, whistling*
America: Oh, me?
Turkey and Israel: Yeah, you. I'm the one who's right here, right?
America: Er...well...you both have interesting points....
Israel: Come on America, you know I'm right. We're pals, remember?
Turkey: No, America's my pal, not yours!
America: Listen, can't you leave me out of this?
Turkey and Israel: No.
Turkey: Well fine, since you haven't chosen me already, then you clearly support Israel. Fine, dickhead. No one needs you either.
America: I never said--
Israel: Oh, so you don't support me then? Good luck winning your Jewish vote now, ya schmuck.
America: Look--

And repeat. *sigh*
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Iv » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:52 am UTC

Robstickle wrote:5.1.2(3) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search, capture or diversion.


Thanks Kulantan and Robstickle for pointing the correct laws. Now the only thing that could make this operation illegal is if the ship didn't receive prior warning or refused to stop.

Apteryx wrote:Well, the evidence is clear that this had been planned all along on that particular boat. People don't just happen to have clubs in their hands when they see modern soldiers coming.
These "poles" look like sunshades. Chairs were used also. It really looks like improvised weapons. Given the circumstances, there would be at least two death on the Israeli's side if the ambush was prepared.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Hawknc » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:59 am UTC

Also the ship was carrying construction materials. Like metal poles. The whole thing looked fairly improvised.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Steax » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:01 am UTC

I agree that the likely cause of the chaos was the situation during the assault. A mass of people sailing through known dangerous waters, at night, with gunshots from who knows where (they say its from nearby boats, but it would seem to be really hard to recognize the source), an a helicopter hovering above your ship. I kind of see why the people on deck tried to assault the boarding soldiers; it was chaos and confusion, and I suppose their gut instinct was to fight back. They probably didn't even realize they were paintball guns. Many of the passengers probably heard the gunfire, shouting and screams, and people were already running around with improvised weapons. Then they see a helicopter descending upon them with soldiers carrying weapons. It's kind of understandable if some passengers though they were already in a fight for their lives.

Aside from who's right or wrong, I really think the critical moment was when they decided to board in that manner, after seeing what was on the deck.

Question that someone might known the answer to (haven't watched the video links yet): Why didn't the Israelis try contacting the boat via radio, and negotiating a way to board the ship peacefully? I mean, I just can't understand why they decided to board with force like that. The first article mentioned that they ordered the boat to stop, which they did; so why the violent boarding?
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Shivahn » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:06 am UTC

Iv wrote:
Robstickle wrote:5.1.2(3) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search, capture or diversion.


Thanks Kulantan and Robstickle for pointing the correct laws. Now the only thing that could make this operation illegal is if the ship didn't receive prior warning or refused to stop.


Isn't the legality of the blockade extremely tenuous? It seems like that would be something else that throws a wrench into the analysis.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby zombie_monkey » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:18 am UTC

Em, what? I remember one of the first infos that came out last night just after the incident was the transcript from the radio coversation where the Israeli coast guard explain the situation a length as well as the consequences if they continue towards Gaza. I can't link now, I'm on my phone. The reply of the ship was "negative negative" or something like that.
Last edited by zombie_monkey on Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:22 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Maurog » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:20 am UTC

Steax wrote:The first article mentioned that they ordered the boat to stop, which they did; so why the violent boarding?

They ordered the boat to stop which it didn't, instead replying that it's not gonna stop and its destination is Gaza (HERE is the link zombie_monkey mentioned). It then was contacted by radio and said to prepare to being boarded, which I understand was met by silence. Then soldiers rappel in and get attacked.

Keep in mind that the other 5 boats were all taken over and moved to Ashdod port quietly, only this one was met with sudden resistance which the soldiers didn't expect at all from the umm peaceful activists.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Griffin » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:34 am UTC

Of course, none of the Israeli's died, and a good number of the activists did.

Israeli's are willing to kill for their cause, clearly. But the activists are apparently more than willing to die for theirs, and especially when that cause is "get in supplies and aide to people who need it", its unsurprising when sympathy ends up resting with them.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Iv » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:39 am UTC

One crucial thing is missing in the Israeli video : the moment when the ~10 people actually died. All we see is soldiers being beaten and then one calming the situation thanks to a paintball gun (to guns geek here : is a paintball gun really that efficient ? In one burst he suppresses 3 people standing and make the rest fall back. Could this have been live ammo ?) At this point, probably no one is dead yet. What happened next ?

But thanks to everyone and the various reports and videos I think I connected the dots. Here is how I reconstruct events so far :
- Being at 40 miles into international water means that the ship was actually moving at the time, contrary to a statement the day before that they would try to enter during the day. As pointed by the texts of maritime law, breaking a blockade (let's come to its legality afterwards) makes its interception legal and makes the commentator on the Al-Jazeera video appear quite clueless : when you take part of such an operation reading a bit about the laws you will be accused of breaching is a minimum.
- There has to have been warnings and orders to stop and warnings of a visit for the whole operation to be legal. Right now, this is the main point of contention remaining.
- Soldiers try to land on the ship and get beaten. One gets thrown on the lower deck and is abducted. It is unclear what kind of weapons he was carrying. Israeli forces claim that the crew took an assault riffle from the soldiers. Was it this one ?
- The higher deck has been secured thanks to paintballs. No one is dead yet but the soldier who fell is missing.
- The Al-Jazeera video talks about live ammunition fighting. I think this is what happened after the end of the Israeli video. In an hostile ship where ambushes are easy, the soldiers tried to deliver their kidnapped colleague. This is this operation that made 9 to 19 civilian deads (reports are fluctuating). The question is whether the crew refused to give back the soldier and (stupidly) violently resisted or if the soldiers just went (criminally) gun blazing shooting all the meet inside the corridors to free what they saw as a new Gilad Shalit. It is possible that at the time the crew had an assault gun in their possession. That would make the use of live munition unavoidable.

When I put things into perspective, I realize that even if Israeli forces are culprit of nothing save of launching an assault in bad conditions, it is still a big PR win for the activists. The point they are making in the open is not that Israel made an illegal operation, but that Israel used deadly force to seize a aid ship. This won't surprise anyone who has followed the news a bit these last years but the targets are public opinions who were still not aware that Israel is willing to kill people who try to bring aid.

Ultimately, this is all about the legitimacy (legality is a bit of a shallow concept with countries who don't adhere to the ICC) of the blockade of the Gaza strip.
Personally, I feel little sympathy for soldiers who board ships in so bad conditions, I feel even less sympathy for people who die trying to beat heavily armed soldiers and act surprised as the get shot at. I am however sad that it takes ten lives wasted to get international attention on a very well known subject. People will try to attribute responsibility to the ship's crew or to the Israeli armed forces but I feel a third party is responsible : the dumb masses and the media that only think a subject is worthwhile when there has been violence.

Far more people die buried alive inside tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, far more serious accusations against Israel are made by the Goldstone reports, but what you need to get international attention is dumb people being killed in front of cameras. This makes me really sad.

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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Maurog » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:47 am UTC

Griffin wrote:especially when that cause is "get in supplies and aide to people who need it".

But, it's not like Israel confiscated the supplies and stoled them. The ships were rerouted to Ashdod port, where the aid was inspected for weapons and then moved to Gaza. In fact, if their real purpose was to move aid in, they would go through Ashdod in the first place instead of making a scandal out of it.

Whoops, sorry Iv, didn't mean to butt in.
Last edited by Maurog on Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:49 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israelian raid on Gaza-bound aid ship kills 10+ people

Postby Dream » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:48 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:Also the ship was carrying construction materials. Like metal poles. The whole thing looked fairly improvised.

The ship was carrying people. It's a passenger ferry. The other ships in the flotilla were cargo ships, and would have had the heavy supplies like construction equipment on board. It could also have been a wooden boat hook, or as someone mentioned a sun shade.

Shivahn wrote:Isn't the legality of the blockade extremely tenuous? It seems like that would be something else that throws a wrench into the analysis.

It's the blockade of Gaza as a whole that's illegal, not to mention morally repugnant. Whether it's legal to board a ship in this manner at this location would be very important had there been a legitimate reason for the blockade to exist at all, but there isn't one.

Maurog wrote:only this one was met with sudden resistance which the soldiers didn't expect at all from the umm peaceful activists.

And keep in mind that nothing on the video was anything not regularly seen in everything from globalisation protests to football matches. No one was shot, no Israeli soldiers were seriously injured (one was, we're told, but it doesn't happen in the video). Crowd control is what the Israelis were apparently shaping up for, and crowd control is what we saw in the video. Injuries on both sides, doubtless, and a very dangerous situation, but nothing lethal. Botched by the Israelis, I'd say, since they dropped a handful of armed soldiers to deal with dozens of angry civilians, which is dangerous and confrontational. At some other place and time on the ship, between 10 and 19 people were shot dead, and apparently dozens more were injured. That's approximately thirty people, and is clearly a very significant incident. Not a light skirmish, nor a panic upon someone swinging a stick at somebody. How that came about is the real test of whether the soldiers were to blame, whether the deaths were avoidable and whether the activists were doing anything to merit lethal force.

There was at least one other boarding on that ship, by boat. The soldiers apparently took about thirty minutes to secure the bridge of the ship. A great deal happened that we are entirely unaware of, and that current evidence proves nothing about. So in essence, "sudden resistance from peaceful activists" is immaterial. We saw the sudden resistance, and we saw no one end up dead. We didn't see what led to the first deaths, nor anything to do with the other boarding.
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