Monday, June 14, 2010

Israel acted like a scoundrel not lawfully published a report titled "Netanyahu: Gaza flotilla probe will show the world Israel acted lawfully" on 14th June 2010.

"The government decision will make it clear to the world that Israel is acting legally, responsibly, and with complete transparency," said Netanyahu.

He added that the main goal of the Gaza flotilla probe is to prove to the world that the Israel Navy operation on the Gaza-bound ship was appropriate and met international standards.

The Israeli had alleged that the flotilla organizers, especially the Turkish group IHH to have ties to terrorist groups. But the most ridiculous thing is that, the well-armed and well-trained Israeli commandos attack the flotilla which is travelling in the international waters and 9 unarmed volunteers was shot mercilessly.

And none of the commandos was killed or hurt by the alleged terrorist. This is the same as the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq so that America can invade Iraq to steal its oil reserve.

I doubt that the Israel probe will be fair and just. Jacob Turkel, a retired Supreme Court Justice will head the committee. Members will include Shabtai Rosen, 93 who is a professor of international law who is an Israel Prize laureate in legal sciences and a Hague Prize laureate in International Law.

Former president of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Horev will also be on the panel. Two foreign observer will be William David Trimble, a Northern Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate who had joined "Friends of Israel" initiative launched in Paris 2 weeks ago.

A former military judge advocate general from Canada, Ken Watkin will be the 2nd international observer.

Meanwhile, the electronic Intifada had published an article written by Jinan Bastaki who is a Law graduate of the London School of Economics titled "Israel's attack on Flotilla violates international law " published on 7th June 2010.

The Israeli argument is predicated on the assumption that the blockade of Gaza is justified, that "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza," and therefore, as Israel is at war with Hamas, intercepting the Flotilla was justified. What is cited is the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, which under Section II states that a blockade is a legitimate method of warfare. In an Al-Jazeera interview, Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that "Israel is at war with Hamas." Based on a very selective reading of the San Remo Manual, Israel considered the Flotilla to be breaching the blockade, and under Article 98 is therefore entitled to seize the ships. But is it really as clear-cut?

In actual fact, since Israel is exercising "effective control" over Gaza, it is still the occupying power. Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations states that "Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army" and this imposes on Israel several responsibilities towards the civilian population, which as we have seen above, have not been fulfilled. Article 55 of the Geneva Conventions specifically provides that the occupying power must provide food and medical supplies at an adequate level, and reports by both the UN and several human rights organizations have shown this not to be the case. Grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Conventions are war crimes. Under Article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions each state "shall bring such persons [who committed grave breaches of the convention], regardless of their nationality, before its own courts." Thus, those responsible in the Israeli government are liable to be tried for war crimes in any state.

Israel not only has to answer to Turkey for attacking its vessel, but as Israel is Party to the 1988 International Maritime Organization's Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, it has breached Article 3 which prohibits seizing a ship by force or any other form of intimidation, or to commit any acts of violence against the people on the ship.

Read the full article here.

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