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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Kuwaiti Journalist: The Flotilla Was Violent; Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself

Kuwaiti journalist 'Abdallah Al-Hadlaq supported Israel's decision to stop the Gaza flotilla in the daily Al-Watan, saying that the outcome of the Israeli navy's operation was "in direct proportion to the violence" of the flotilla activists, and that the flotilla organizers are known to have ties with global and regional terror organizations.
The following are excerpts:[1]
"The Weapons had Clearly been Prepared in Advance... and the Soldiers had No Choice but to Respond"
"The Israeli navy gave repeated warnings to the ships [of the flotilla], which tried to break the blockade on the terroristic Hamas movement in Gaza, and also invited them to enter the Ashdod port and unload their cargo of 'aid' supplies, so it could be thoroughly examined by the security [forces] before being delivered by land to the Gaza Strip. When the flotilla failed to heed these warnings and requests, the Israeli navy had no choice but to take over the ships. [In doing so], the IDF troops encountered violent [opposition] that had been planned in advance: the flotilla participants assaulted them with firearms, metal pipes, knives and clubs, and grabbed the rifle of one of the soldiers. The weapons had clearly been prepared in advance... and the soldiers had no choice but to respond, including with live fire.
"The Israeli navy operation was conducted according to orders and instructions of the highest political echelons, [and aimed at] stopping the ships and keeping them from breaching the naval blockade and reaching Gaza. The warning message sent by the Israeli navy [to the Mavi Marmara] was as follows: 'To the captain of the [Mavi] Marmara: You are approaching an area of hostilities, which is under a naval blockade. The Gaza coastal area and Gaza Harbor are closed to maritime traffic. We invite you to enter the Ashdod port, from whence the aid supplies will be delivered through the formal land crossing [to Gaza], after which you can return to your home ports."[2] It should be noted that, according to the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel retains control of a 40-kilometer strip of water off the Gaza coast."

"The [Flotilla] Organizers are Supporters of Movements and Organizations such as [Global] Jihad, Hamas, Hizbullah and Al-Qaeda"
"The flotilla, which was supported by the terroristic Hamas movement and tried to breach the blockade on this movement in Gaza, was a preplanned provocation against Israel. The grave outcome [of the takeover] was in direct proportion to the violence [employed by the flotilla activists] as they tried [to breach the blockade]. The [flotilla] organizers are supporters of movements and organizations such as [global] Jihad, Hamas, Hizbullah and Al-Qaeda, and have a black record in terms of smuggling arms and [perpetrating] terror operations. And indeed, the Israeli forces discovered on the ships weapons and ammunition that had been prepared in advance.
"The naval blockade on the Hamas movement in Gaza is legal in light of this movement's actions in the Strip. Had Israel allowed the flotilla – which was not legal – to reach the Hamas movement, it would have opened a route for smuggling weapons and terrorists into the Gaza Strip. No sovereign country would allow its citizens or its sovereignty to be harmed. Moreover, the attempt to force a path to Gaza by sea does not [really] benefit the people of Gaza, since the land crossings are sufficient for [the purpose of] supplying their needs. International aid organizations provide Gaza with all the necessary food, clothing and medical [supplies]. Over 15,000 tons of basic aid supplies enter the Strip every week. Construction materials enter it under the supervision of international organizations, in order to prevent the terroristic Hamas movement from commandeering them and using them for building military fortifications. The land crossings are the most efficient way to deliver supplies to Gaza, and the flotilla organizers know this perfectly well. They also know that since December 2008, their ships are not allowed to approach [the Gaza coast].
"The protests and demonstrations that broke out in various capitals are without meaning or value, as are the emergency summits [convened by] the Arab League, the E.U. and the U.N. The wave of protests will not change a thing, but a full and immediate investigation of the events will reveal all the details of what really happened... and [then] everyone will know the truth about the Hamas movement..."

Endnotes:
[1] Al-Watan (Kuwait), June 3, 2010. It should be noted that, at a June 4, 2010 rally, Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah said that some papers in the Gulf had published papers supporting the IDF raid on the flotilla, but their authors were a minority that would be taken care of by people of honor. Al-Safir (Lebanon), June 5, 2010.

[2] The full message of the Israeli navy was as follows: "You are approaching an area of hostilities, which is under a naval blockade. Gaza coastal area and Gaza Harbor are closed to maritime traffic. The Israeli government supports delivery of humanitarian supplies to the civilian population in Gaza Strip and invites you to enter Ashdod port. Delivery of supplies will be in accordance with the authorities' regulations and through the formal land crossing to Gaza and under your observation, after which you can return to your home ports." The reply was: "Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza."