The diplomatic and media fallout from the Gaza flotilla incident continues to reverberate. Here we present some of the latest developments and resources.
“Go Back to Auschwitz”
The following radio exchange between the Israeli Navy and the Gaza flotilla offers something about the mindset of those on board.
– This is the Israeli Navy. You are approaching an area which is under a naval blockade.
– Shut up, go back to Auschwitz.
– We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter. We’re helping Arabs go against the US, don’t forget 9/11 guys.
In response to questions over this audio, the IDF has clarified that it has been edited down to cut out periods of silence over the radio as well as incomprehensible comments so as to make it easier for people to listen to the exchange.
In addition, this transmission had originally cited the Mavi Marmara ship as being the source of these remarks, however, due to an open channel, the specific ship or ships in the “Freedom Flotilla” responding to the Israeli Navy could not be identified.
Terrorist Operatives On Board
According to the IDF, the following passengers on board the Mavi Marmara are known to be involved in terrorist activity.
Fatimah Mahmadi (born 1979), is a United States resident of Iranian origin, and an active member of the organization “Viva Palestine”, she attempted to smuggle forbidden electronic components into the Gaza Strip.
Ken O’Keefe (Born 1969), an American and British citizen, is a radical anti-Israel activist and operative of the Hamas terror organization. He attempted to enter the Gaza Strip in order to form and train a commando unit for the Palestinian terror organization.
Hassan Iynasi (born 1982), a Turkish citizen and activist in a Turkish charity organization, is known of providing financial support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terror organization.
Hussein Urosh, a Turkish citizen and activist in the IHH organization, was on his way to the Gaza Strip in order to assist in smuggling Al-Qaeda operatives via Turkey into the Strip.
Ahmad Umimon (born 1959), is a French citizen of Moroccan origin, and an operative of the Hamas Terrorist organization.
French Judge Links IHH to Terror
In an interview, French judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere told Associated Press that the Turkish IHH organization behind the Mavi Marmara had “clear, long-standing ties to terrorism and Jihad”. Referring to an investigation in the nineties:
“They were basically helping al-Qaida when (Osama) bin Laden started to want to target U.S. soil,” he said.
. . .
The former judge, renowned for tracking down convicted terrorist Carlos the Jackal, said he didn’t believe the IHH could have been infiltrated by terrorists without its knowledge.
“It’s hard to prove, but all elements of the investigation showed that part of the NGO served to hide jihad-type activities,” Bruguiere said. “I’m convinced this was a clear strategy, known by IHH.”
The judge said he was personally involved in a raid with French and Turkish police at IHH headquarters in Istanbul in 1998, where they found weapons, false documents and other “incriminating” material.
“It was clearly proven that some of the NGO’s work was not charity, it was to provide a facade for moving funds, weapons and mujahedeen to and from Bosnia and Afghanistan” – areas focused on by Islamic militants then.
Terror Continues from Gaza
Israeli fears of terror from the sea were graphically illustrated only this morning as an Israeli Navy commando force intercepted a unit of heavily armed Palestinian frogmen, killing five of the terrorists. The JPost reports that he terrorists were wearing diving gear and trying to swim to an Israeli city along the Mediterranean coast, when they were detected by the commandos and a firefight erupted.
According to IDF, the size of the unit and equipment it was carrying, indicate an intention of carrying out a large scale attack. Only the commandos’ quick, effective response prevented a disaster.
The boat was making its way from Gaza, north to Israel. According to the IDF Spokesperson, the members of the terrorist cell had intended to carry out a terror attack in Israel.
Some media, however, are referring to the terrorists as “divers” as if these individuals were snorkelling off the coral reefs of Gaza on a day out.
Gaza is Not “Starving”
Is the situation for ordinary Gazans difficult? Most certainly yes. But should some media be portraying Gazans in the same light as sub-Saharan victims of a famine? The media has, over the past few years, neglected to highlight the substantial amount of aid that crosses the Israel-Gaza border. Details of this aid for the year 2009 have recently been published.
The Canada-Israel Committee takes a look at how much aid Israel regularly delivers to Gaza, and what it means in real terms for Gazans:
Over one million tons of humanitarian supplies were delivered by Israel to the people of Gaza in the past 18 months that’s equal to nearly one ton of aid for every man, woman and child in Gaza.
In the first quarter of 2010 alone (January-March), Israel delivered 94,500 tons of supplies to Gaza. Its very easy to miss what that actually means for the people of Gaza. The breakdown includes:
40,000 tons of wheat which is equal to 53 million loaves of bread;
2,760 tons of rice which equals 69 million servings;
1,987 tons of clothes and footwear <
strong>the equivalent weight of 3.6 million pairs of jeans; and
553 tons of milk powder and baby food equivalent to over 3.1 million days of formula for an average six-month-old baby.
This reflects a long-term effort on the part of Israel to deliver a massive and comprehensive supply of aid to Gazas civilians, while restricting the ability of Hamas to import missiles that have been launched at the cities of southern Israel. In 2009 alone:
During the Muslim holy days of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, Israel shipped some 11,000 head of cattle into Gaza enough to provide 8.8 million meals of beef;
More than 3,000 tons of hypochlorite were delivered by Israel to Gaza for water purification purposes thats 60 billion gallons of purified water; and
Israel brought some 4,883 tons of medical equipment and medicine into Gaza a weight equivalent to over 360,000 260-piece mobile trauma first aid kits.
We couldn’t finish without including this video produced by the Israeli satirical site Latma.