From the AhluBayt News Agency (Iranian):
Bulent Yildirim, head of the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), revealed that a second Freedom Flotilla is to set sail soon loaded with tons of humanitarian aid to break the siege on Gaza.
Yildirim told Alkhaleej Online that the foundation started on Thursday the legal procedures to organize the convoy, saying that once it is approved numerous international humanitarian organizations would take part in the convoy.
He said that the convoy would be organized under Turkish army protection, adding that IHH had submitted a request to the Turkish government to provide them, as Turkish citizens, with the needed protection.
The bolded text above is the area of real concern. If Israel interdicts the flotilla while it is protected by the Turkish Army, it could very, very quickly devolve into a shooting war.
And then we have Article 5 of the NATO Charter to consider…
I can’t imagine that Turkey would send troops to assist in running a blockade, in what would then amount to a military invasion. The organizer of the flotilla has claimed that troops will be aboard the flotilla, but considering he hasn’t even finished the paperwork (let alone get it approved) I doubt his claim.
The last time a Freedom Flotilla 2 was organized, it fizzled out. Nonetheless, we heard about the impending voyage for months ahead of departure. I expect the same will be true this time around.
I hope this Flotilla is not filled with Turkish Soldiers as it could be seen as a threat, how would Turkey like if a Flotilla filled with Israeli Soldiers landed in Turkey, some how I get the feeling they would not like it, Flotilla with permission yes, soldiers a Big Fat No No.
If I could airlift a boat full of medical supplies and food into Gaza I would do that. To send ANOTHER Turkish boat to Gaza is potentially just another crisis in the making.
The boat most certainly will be intercepted and searched, unless the Israeli PM has given prior approval. If the PM has not given approval and the boat does not allow itself to be searched and there are Turkish soldiers on board, the chances are there for it and the crew to end up on the bottom of the Sea.
I think this conflict is a senseless tragedy. But there are two groups of people firing missiles at one another. To send innocents into harms way without trying to go through humanitarian channels loaded with soldiers, however well intended, is reckless. :twocents:
I remember doing some research on this the last time some group tried to break the blockade.
First of all, Israel vacated Gaza in 2005, some 9 years ago. They left everything. There have been no permanent Israeli troops in Gaza since then. All governance was turned over at that time to the Palestinian Authority. Within days of the Israeli withdrawal the Gazans started firing rockets and mortars into Israel. Since the whole point of the Israeli withdrawal was to begin setting up a separate Palestinian state, the Israelis started treating them like a state: When the PA refused to take steps to stop the rocket fire, that constituted a *de facto *state of war, and Israel took steps to defend itself, namely, it established a blockade by sea to keep further rockets and war materiel from being imported that way. Anything that needed to come in by sea was redirected to either the nearest Israeli port or the nearest Egyptian port, where it would be offloaded, inspected, and transshipped to Gaza.
(Note that Egypt, not Israel, controls the entire southwestern border of Gaza. No one seems to have a problem with the Egyptian blockade of Gaza, but that’s the subject of another rant.)
Hamas has been the legally elected government of Gaza for the past 8 years, since 2006. In all the time that Hamas has been in power, the rockets and mortars have continued to fly into Israel, as well as frequent incursions into Israel from Gaza to raid, destroy, pillage, burn, and take hostages. You may remember Gilad Shalit: captured in such a raid in 2006, he was held in Gaza for 5 years before being released in 2011 in exchange for a number of Palestinian prisoners.
During all this time Israel has still been providing medical treatment to Palestinians free of charge. They have also been providing electricity as well as fuel to run generators inside Gaza. (Egypt also provides electricity and fuel, at much lower levels.) When something happens and power lines go down, it is Israelis that do the repairs, inside shielded equipment to protect them from sniper fire. (Interesting note: a little over a week ago, after the current war began, one of the Hamas rockets fell short of the Israeli border and destroyed one of the Gazan power plants. Hamas is extremely upset that Israel is not honoring its commitments to repair that power station RIGHT NOW.)
The blockade could have been dropped at any point before now if Hamas had simply stopped firing rockets into Israel in an attempt to kill Israelis. If Turkey attempts to break the blockade now, they will be sending its citizens into an active war zone. Also, you may want to read the pertinent sections of international law on what happens to a ship that is used in an attempt to break a war-time blockade. Simply put, it becomes the property of the belligerent enforcing the blockade. The last time, the Israelis just gave the boat back to the Irish company it had been leased from. This time, my vote is to strip it of everything useful, tow it to the edge of territorial waters, then see how many torpedoes from Israel’s brand-new Dolphin-class submarines it takes to sink it. Groups like Hamas are more than willing to send useful idiots to their deaths, but ships cost money!
I *HOPE *that is not the case. I *HOPE *the flotilla goes to Israel. I *HOPE *that after the flotilla is met at the blockade border that cooler heads will prevail, that someone decides that the people on the ships are more than just useful idiots to be sacrificed for a political point, and that the flotilla proceeds to either an Egyptian or Israeli port to be offloaded, inspected (to make sure there are no Beecher’s Bibles in the shipments) and the humanitarian aid transshipped to a border crossing into Gaza.
(BTW, there is a story – unverified – that Henry W. Beecher would ship rifles to the anti-slavery settlers in Kansas in boxes marked “Bibles”. It is known that some boxes were marked “books”, others marked “machinery”, but no proof he ever marked his boxes “Bibles”. Still, the story stuck around and the name “Beecher’s Bibles” caught on for smuggled weapons.)
While going through the comments to the article on middleeastmonitor.com, I felt a chill. One of the Turkish commentators mentioned that Turkey has F16 jets too, and that they could easily attack Israel from Cyprus. Go check out Ezekiel 38-39. You’ll find a description of the War of Gog and Magog, where a group of nations conspire to attack Israel in order to “plunder and pillage”. Among the nations that join in the attack is one called Beth-togarmah, which was located in Modern Turkey.
So what this person was saying was something that was described in Ezekiel as one of the end-time events.