A new flotilla with pro-Palestinian activists on board is headed for the Gaza Strip and the question is whether this time it would be able to break the Israeli blockade on the impoverished coastal enclave.
The flotilla set off from Sweden and will be joined by other boats on its way to the sliver. The vessels, carrying small amounts of medical supplies and aids, are expected to reach the besieged enclave by the end of June. As always, Israel’s military spokesman has said the military “will not allow any vessel to reach Gaza and to cross the maritime border of Israel.”
The announcement is not surprising. On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara that was part of a six-ship convoy named the Freedom Flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 10 Turkish citizens and injuring about 50 others.
By failing to do anything about the incident, international human rights organizations and treaty bodies such as The Hague and the UN Human Rights Council demonstrated yet again that they couldn’t be trusted as a podium for international peace and justice.
In a report about the incident, the International Criminal Court in The Hague simply said Israel’s military forces may have committed war crimes, but the consequences were insufficiently grave to warrant a criminal investigation!
The report described what it called “alleged war crimes by Israel,” like intentionally directing an attack against civilian targets, willful killing and willfully causing serious injury of civilians. But the deaths involved only “a small number of victims,” and so did not meet the Court’s standard for prosecution!
Judging from the above and reading the tealeaves, it is evident that the Israeli military will not hesitate to attack the new flotilla if they try to break the siege. The argument is that if The Hague had done something concrete about the previous flotilla, the apartheid regime would have thought twice before threatening the Swedish flotilla for fear of international backlash.
In any case, all leading international organizations and human rights treaty bodies are duty-bound to support the new flotilla, as it will stop the Israeli war machine’s brutal siege from going on. The world should also support the international campaign to boycott Israeli goods and companies that support the regime financially to help bring change and peace to Palestine.
Under international law, the United Nations and the Security Council are duty-bound to prevent Tel Aviv from being an exception to international law. They can and should help the “Flotilla of Peace” to break the siege and deliver humanitarian aid to the 1.8 million Palestinians who are still living in prison conditions.