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Gaza Flotilla

On May 31, 2010, six ships attempted to break the naval blockade of Gaza.  Israeli soldiers intercepted the flotilla expecting to find “peace activists” delivering humanitarian aid.  Instead, they were ambushed and assaulted with brutal force.  In the ensuing battle, nine Turkish “activists” were killed, and seven Israelis were injured.
  • There is no “siege” of Gaza.  Israel maintains a naval blockade of the hostile territory to prevent smuggling of weapons that can be used against Israeli civilians.  (Egypt has maintained a similar blockade.)  Gaza is ruled by radical Islamic terrorists committed to Israel’s destruction; over 7,000 rockets and mortars were launched from the Gaza Strip after Israel’s complete withdrawal from the area in 2005.)  Israel inspects and delivers to Gaza over 15,000 tons a week of food, water, medicine, fuel, construction materials, and other goods.  Since 2009, more than a million tons of food and supplies entered Gaza.
  • Posing as “peace activists,” terrorist sympathizers led by the Turkish Jihadist organization IHH attempted to reach Gaza by sea.  They declined Israeli offers to unload their cargo for inspection and transfer to Gaza, preferring instead to engage in anti-Israel propaganda and grandstanding to the international media.  Before confronting the Israeli navy, flotilla participants chanted an Islamic battle cry invoking killing of Jews and called for martyrdom.
  • Israeli naval commandos, after repeated warnings, intercepted the flotilla and attempted to board the ships.  They peacefully redirected five of the boats to an Israeli port.  On the sixth, well prepared demonstrators violently attacked Israel Defense Forces personnel with live fire as well as clubs and knives.
  • After Israeli soldiers were injured, they began to return fire.  In this skirmish, nine “activists” were killed and several more injured. Seven members of the IDF were also injured in the fighting.  The wounded on both sides were evacuated to Israeli hospitals for treatment.  The ships were taken to an Israeli port, and their legitimate cargo will be transferred to Gaza.
  • Israel was justified in preventing the illegal flotilla from reaching Gaza.  Had the incursion succeeded, it would have opened a smuggling route for weapons to reach Hamas and be used against both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.  The Israeli commandos exercised unparalleled restraint in responding to the assault, returning fire only when their lives were threatened.
  • Israel has expressed regret at the loss of life, reiterated its commitment to delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza, and emphasized that it will continue to defend its citizens from the terrorists and their supporters.  It has also launched an investigation into the intelligence failure that led Israeli forces, unprepared and under-equipped, into this ambush and attempted lynch.

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