Here’s a question for all you armchair lawyers out there: Ireland has asked Israel for permission to allow The “Rachel Corrie,” an Irish owned ship flying under the Irish flag, to enter the blockade zone. I’m assuming that if the ship agrees to allow Israel to inspect the ship and the cargo, and for the Israeli Navy to pilot the vessel, it’s possible that permission would be granted.
But what if the ship’s crew refuses to allow inspection, etc. Right now it looks like it’s just one ship, so after being warned, it could be allowed to approach the blockade zone. (The IDF boarded the Gaza flotilla where it did because with 6 ships it was not possible to peaceably interdict all the ships at the 20-mile border.) Once it enters the blockade zone, after being warned, etc., the IDF boards the ship, sails it to Ashdod where the cargo and passengers are offloaded. The Rachel Corrie is then sailed 100 miles out to sea and sunk.
The IDF then announces that this will be the policy from now on: any ship that is used to attempt to break the blockade will be considered spoils of war and will be destroyed. I imagine the outcries will be horrendous. I also imagine the number of vessels being volunteered for these blockade missions will drop dramatically.
In my own mind and from my own (admittedly limited) readings of international law, this would be a perfectly legal thing to do. What do YOU think?