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Was Israel’s Boarding Of the Gaza Flotilla a Violation of International Law?

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posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 12:44 PM
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According to the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994:

SECTION V : NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT

Neutral merchant vessels

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

(a) 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 or capture;

(b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;

(c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy s armed forces;

(d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy s intelligence system;

(e) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or

(f) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.

NOTE: the San Remo Manual is not a treaty, but considered by the ICRC to be reflective of customary law.

Also, on piracy: the definition of piracy under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, section 101, is clear that piracy can only occur where there are “illegal acts of violence or detention” that are “committed for private ends.” Israeli actions were legal under the law of armed conflict (as evidenced by the San Remo Manual) and in any event, were not committed for private ends. Anyone using the term piracy to describe the Israeli action is clearly not aware of international law on the subject.

Here’s the bottom Line:

* A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. Such blockade has been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza, which has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea.

* Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea.

* A blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral States.

* The naval manuals of several western countries, including the US and England recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure and set forth the various criteria that make a blockade valid, including the requirement of give due notice of the existence of the blockade.

* In this vein, it should be noted that Israel publicized the existence of the blockade and the precise coordinates of such by means of the accepted international professional maritime channels. Israel also provided appropriate notification to the affected governments and to the organizers of the Gaza protest flotilla. Moreover, in real time, the ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime blockade is in effect.

* Here, it should be noted that under customary law, knowledge of the blockade may be presumed once a blockade has been declared and appropriate notification has been granted, as above.

* Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. That includes both civilian and enemy vessels.

* A State may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law. The US Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of evading the blockade.

* Note that the protesters indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade by means of written and oral statements. Moreover, the route of these vessels indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade in violation of international law.

* Given the protesters explicit intention to violate the naval blockade, Israel exercised its right under international law to enforce the blockade. It should be noted that prior to undertaking enforcement measures, explicit warnings were relayed directly to the captains of the vessels, expressing Israel’s intent to exercise its right to enforce the blockade.

* Israel had attempted to take control of the vessels participating in the flotilla by peaceful means and in an orderly fashion in order to enforce the blockade. Given the large number of vessels participating in the flotilla, an operational decision was made to undertake measures to enforce the blockade a certain distance from the area of the blockade.

* Israeli personnel attempting to enforce the blockade were met with violence by the “protesters” and acted in self defense to fend off such attacks.


My friend’s objection was a thoughtful one, made out of a respect for the law, however, the laws of the sea indicate that Israel was in her bounds when she boarded the terrorist boat last night.

www.redstate.com...

I decided to post this since people keep claiming that Israel committed a criminal act, when in fact the International law says the contrary.

Here is a link to the "San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994"

www.icrc.org...

The flotilla made their intentions clear, which was to breach the blockade, and that is a belligerent act. Out of 6 ships 5 did not use violence, they were inspected, and they followed the directions of Israel, which was in it's right to enforce the blockade.

Only one ship, and several of it's crew members decided to use violence because they did not want to stop, they wanted to breach the blockade and didn't want to be inspected.

All those members claiming that Israel committed a criminal act are wrong, and such people should have at least TRIED to inform themselves about what is considered legal, or illegal in maritime international law.




posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 






All those members claiming that Israel committed a criminal act are wrong, and such people should have at least TRIED to inform themselves about what is considered legal, or illegal in maritime international law.


OK, it is important to get the facts, thanks.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 02:54 PM
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Originally posted by Stormdancer777
OK, it is important to get the facts, thanks.


Indeed it is. The Kernel was wondering why another thread on this then remembered a post in your other thread:


Originally posted by Dagar
reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 


For a blockade to be legal the party doing the blockading has to have declared war on the party being blockaded... and/or the party doing the blockading has to be OCCUPYING the party being blockaded.

Since Israel will not admit to either of these situations existing, the blockade immediately becomes illegal by default. You can't have it both ways... either the blockade is legal and Israel is at war with Gaza and/or occupying Gaza... or if they say they are not doing either of these, then the blockade is illegal... This has already being pointed out by numerous people in different threads and STILL it keeps being ignored by the 'Legal Blockade' propononents.

So...That being the case we are back to the Israeli military having illegally boarded a sovereign vessel in international waters, using an ILLEGAL blockade (see above) as the reason.

Since the blockade is illegal, and their act is illegal...Having committed piracy they then compounded this with killing some of those defending their ship in international waters, and kidnapping the rest.


Yes, we need the facts. The Kernel would have thought the IDF office would have given you notice. That way you could have researched your propaganda better.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by Kernel Korn

Yes, we need the facts. The Kernel would have thought the IDF office would have given you notice. That way you could have researched your propaganda better.


What in the world are you talking about?... How about you show facts instead of the CLAIMS made by someone who doesn't have the facts?...

The blockade is NOT illegal... Israel is in a state of war against HAMAS, and other state sponsors of the Palestinian authorities, the blockade is LEGAL simply because HAMAS and other terrorist organizations have been sending weapons, and other aid for the Palestinian radicals to keep fighting against Israel, and to keep attacking Israeli people.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 



Good post. Of course it won't matter to the Jew haters here.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 05:31 PM
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Thank you for doing this. Not that it will do anything to change the vapid hate spewing and lies from Al-Jazeera and their non-paid ATS mouthpieces, but at least you made an attempt to confront the lies about this being "an illegal attack in international waters".

I was actually considering making a thread just like this.

Do understand that the hate is Biblical, and nothing anyone does will be able to change it. It is what it is, and there will be those that stand with Israel and those that stand against her.

Religous or not, there is historical standing here that can't be denied. For those that see, be aware of what is coming, that is all I can say.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 05:38 PM
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This whole thing stinks of provocation for war by both sides, which can only mean that those who have most to gain from middle eastern wars and conflicts are actually behind it.

Regardless of law, the true warmongers on both sides will never be brought to justice.

Don't be polarized by these events, that is exactly what they want.

They will have their wars, there will be those to blame on both sides, while the true creators of this conflict get exactly what they want.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 

S&F on the much needed post. The law is there for each of us to locate and read for ourselves. If we just would. I had posted something similar in one of the other threads before I saw yours. It also seems that many people tend to forget/overlook the fact that Hamas is on the US State Dept list of Foreign Terror Organizations and also that the Israelis are not unilaterally enforcing the embargo. Egypt is also actively engaged in this embargo as well. Although after reading some of the other posts, I'm not sure how many will bother reading the law.

reply to post by Libertygal
 

I've been around for a few years, and I'm not sure I have ever seen so much hate directed toward any other group as I have seen these past few days toward the Israelis. Have they made mistakes in the past? Yes, and so has every other country without exception.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 06:20 PM
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This law was never ratified and certainly not adopted by Israel that I'm aware of, well atleast not until now.

If you can show me an "old" link where Israel accepted (ratified) this law then I'm with you.
If you can do that then we will see if they acted within the word of all the laws within since the start of said blockade huh..

All the current links have been modified since June 1st.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by virgom129
This law was never ratified and certainly not adopted by Israel that I'm aware of, well atleast not until now.

If you can show me an "old" link where Israel accepted (ratified) this law then I'm with you.
If you can do that then we will see if they acted within the word of all the laws within since the start of said blockade huh..

All the current links have been modified since June 1st.



According to the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994:



NOTE: the San Remo Manual is not a treaty, but considered by the ICRC to be reflective of customary law.



en.wikipedia.org...



The Institute is composed by more than 200 individual members from different nationalities. In accordance with the Statutes, they are persons that have particularly distinguished themselves through competence or activities in fields of specific interest to the Institute. Institutions significantly contributing to the work of the Institute may also be admitted as members. The General Assembly establishes and guides the general policy of the Institute.

The Council, which is elected by the General Assembly, oversees the management of the Institute, determining the programme of activities. It elects the President and Vice-Presidents, and appoints the Secretary-General and the Treasurer.



Prof. Yoram DINSTEIN (Israel)



Activities
The main activities of the Institute span the following sectors:




San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea (1994)
The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea was adopted in June 1994 after a series of round tables of naval and legal experts convened, as a legally recognized document. [1]

The San Remo Manual was cited by the Israeli government to justify its boarding and seizure of ships trying to break the Gaza blockade (see Gaza flotilla raid).[2]

Paragraph 67 states that it is permitted for belligerents to attack merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States outside of neutral waters 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 or capture". Paragraph 146 states that it is permitted to capture neutral merchant vessels outside neutral waters if they are engaged in any of the activities referred to in paragraph 67. The term neutral waters is defined in paragraph 14: "Neutral waters consist of the internal waters, territorial sea, and, where applicable, the archipelagic waters, of neutral States. Neutral airspace consists of the airspace over neutral waters and the land territory of neutral States." [3]



Sure looks like they are particapatory. How old of a link do you wish? The Geneva Convention ratified in 1949 by Israel?


Of course the links were "modified", so as to update them since the flotilla conflict. NOthing to see there, move along.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


Just show me where Israel has recognised this law in the past,
your post show nothing except that they are happy to quote from it today.

Not much of an ask.

Maybe you should answer or move along yourself.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by virgom129
reply to post by Libertygal
 


Just show me where Israel has recognised this law in the past,
your post show nothing except that they are happy to quote from it today.

Not much of an ask.

Maybe you should answer or move along yourself.



How about when they enacted the blockade in 2007? The blockade was enacted based on this law.

My post showed a lot more, you are just too willing to be blind to it.

I showed that Israel has been elected and in a position on the board and responsible for helping in writing and creating the law. They are in agreement of the law my the mere fact of participation.


And, my comment about nothing to see here, move along? That was about you trying to intimate that there was something subversive about the links being updated June 1.

How is it unreasonable to update links with current information? You are intimating something subversive took place in the updating of the links. Please, provide some evidence of this, or.. move along, nothing to see there.

*crickets*


[edit on 4-6-2010 by Libertygal]



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by virgom129
reply to post by Libertygal
 


Just show me where Israel has recognised this law in the past,
your post show nothing except that they are happy to quote from it today.

Not much of an ask.

Maybe you should answer or move along yourself.



What the heck?... For crying out loud the law EXISTS...

BTW, in case you didn't know even Kennedy, the U.S. president, used a similar law to board ships bound for Cuba on international waters during the blockade of Cuba (Cuban missile crisis)....

Several nations in the past have boarded ships in international waters and they were legal boardings/inspections.

What you are doing is nothing more than another red herring because you seem to HATE Israel...




[edit on 4-6-2010 by ElectricUniverse]



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 






Meetings of forum Madrid (1988) ; Bochum (1989) ; Toulon (1990) ; Bergen (1991) ; Ottawa (1992) ; Geneva (1993) ; Livorno (1994) Date of adoption 12.06.1994 Number of articles 183 paragraphs Authentic text English Source International Review of the Red Cross, November-December 1995, no 309, pp 583-594


www.icrc.org...

created in 94

Kennedy's embargo against Cuba 62 or 63



NOTE: the San Remo Manual is not a treaty, but considered by the ICRC to be reflective of customary law.


From your own post




Israel must heed the international community’s call to release its stranglehold on the Strip and lift the illegal blockade.


www.un.org...

The Un considers it a illegal blockade which Israel is a member of and Israel cites a Manual that is not a binding treaty as its justification of the flotilla assault.

What Ever folks .



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by Lostinthedarkness


created in 94

Kennedy's embargo against Cuba 62 or 63


....So what?... Laws are changed and added over time... It still doesn't change the fact that ships have been boarded in the past in international waters and was considered legal...


Originally posted by Lostinthedarkness
From your own post




Israel must heed the international community’s call to release its stranglehold on the Strip and lift the illegal blockade.


....What post is that?... I never posted that.



Originally posted by Lostinthedarkness
www.un.org...

The Un considers it a illegal blockade which Israel is a member of and Israel cites a Manual that is not a binding treaty as its justification of the flotilla assault.

What Ever folks .


....For the most part the UN is a bunch of CORRUPT politicians... Several were found to have been part of the Oil For Food scandal, including the son of Kofi Annan...

They were supposed to send more aid to Iraq, and what they did was to profit from it meanwhile Iraquis were not getting the aid they were supposed to get.

Is that the UN you want to listen to?....


Oh and one more thing...you linking the name of an Israeli, apparently in your attempt to imply something evil, only shows your bias, and contempt for Israeli people...



[edit on 4-6-2010 by ElectricUniverse]



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 


Even if I believe what you say,
how many unarmed civilians were shot ih the head by the US during the Cuba blockade?



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


I thought Israel have never admitted they are the "occupying force" because then the would have to abide by the rules of occupation.

If that is the case then your analogy is incorrect...

Can you show me where Israel has said they are the occupying force???



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:38 PM
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Israel has stood by its maritime blockade in the face of withering international pressure following the raid, urging the activists to head for the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, where the cargo would be inspected and then transferred to Gaza.

But the activists, who are carrying a cargo of hundreds of tons of aid including wheelchairs, medical supplies and concrete, have rejected the Israeli offer. Greta Berlin, a spokesman for the Free Gaza group, said the 1,200-ton ship will not stop in any port on the way.


Defiance and beligerance in he face of what they know is going on. This is called reaping what you sow.



Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza three years ago after Hamas overran the territory. The militant group has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea, according to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Israel insists the blockade is necessary to keep weapons and weapons components out of Gaza.

Robert Margolis, an expert in international maritime law based out of Vancouver, Canada, said no boats, including civilian and enemy vessels, can enter a blockaded area when a maritime blockade is in effect.

"Israel is acting under the customary maritime law of blockade," Margolis told FoxNews.com. "You're allowed to do that; they declared a blockade over a port."


Margolis said Israel is acting "completely" within guidelines of blockades under international maritime law. Any vessel that violates a blockade, including the Rachel Corrie, may be captured, boarded or even attacked under international law.

Once a blockade is established, Margolis said they must be enforced.

"You can't have a blockade where you don't try and stop every vessel," he said. "Blockades fail from non-enforcement. The law of blockades require enforcement; there's no such thing as a paper blockade."

Israel earlier this week deported the nearly 700 activists it rounded up from all six ships. It also offered to transfer some of the aid from the ships to Gaza, but Hamas refused entry.


Hamas doesn't want the supplies. They want to demonize Israel and continue to use haters to spread thir propoganda.

Source



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by virgom129
reply to post by Libertygal
 


I thought Israel have never admitted they are the "occupying force" because then the would have to abide by the rules of occupation.

If that is the case then your analogy is incorrect...

Can you show me where Israel has said they are the occupying force???


Where did you get this from?



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:40 PM
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reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 


People rationally debating the rule of law and you are the first with the "hate Israel" comment ???

I haven't seen anyone in this post giving anything but their opinions on the law.

Well done and how to start the racist comment..

Stick to the topic or, as your comrade said, move along...



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