Flotilla Massacre: The Fact Sheet

31/05/2010

The situation in Gaza: Gaza still lies in ruins from the bombardment of civilian targets by the IDF in the last war. No reconstruction materials have been permitted into Gaza by either Israeli or Egyptian participants in the siege. The siege is part of an attempt by the Israeli government to force regime change in Gaza.

The official channels: The reason the aid could not be sent through (Israeli) ‘official channels’ is because vital reconstruction materials have been banned from crossing the Gaza border by the Israeli and Egyptian governments. Without these materials the Gazans have been unable to rebuild the 20% of civilian buildings destroyed in the last war.

The supplies: The flotilla was carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid supplies, mostly those supplies which Israel has prevented from entering the Gaza strip in previous aid efforts: primarily reconstruction materials such as cement, electrical equipment and some luxury goods.

The offer: The offer made by the Israeli regime that the ships may dock at Ashdod and that the supplies would be transported into the Gaza strip by road after ‘inspection’ was meaningless; only those supplies not banned by Israel would have been transported into the Gaza strip by road (if any). The purpose of this flotilla was to provide those necessities which they are deprived of by the Israeli siege.

The blockade: Under international law naval blockades are required to be proportional to the threat posed. This blockade has been declared illegal by the UN several times. The attack: The ships were in international waters at the time. Seizing ships in international waters is an act of piracy under international law.

The deaths: The responsibility for the deaths lies firmly with the aggressor. The IDF commandos initiated violence by storming the ship illegally. The exact number of deaths and the identities of those killed has not been confirmed but estimates currently suggest that nineteen of those who were shot by the IDF have died.

The crew: The crew are being detained in Ashdod, nobody from the outside has been allowed to communicate with them. They are expected to be deported from Israel, with the exception of…

The hostages: Sixteen of the abducted crew of the largest ship have been illegally detained in military prisons for unspecified crimes. They are likely mostly Turkish nationals.

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