May 312010
 

Kawthar Salam

Turkish sources and media revealed a document which shows that a death list had been prepared in advance by the Israelis, showing names and pictures of people on board of the ships to be murdered, who, according to Israel, were “involved in the International humanitarian aid for Gaza”. According to the Turkish sources, hundreds of Israeli soldiers stormed the blue Turkish ship “Marmara” flotilla and they had copies of the death list. The list included the names of civilians on the fleet who should be killed”. The document was apparently recovered after one of the Israeli soldiers lost it during the piracy act.

The leaders of the Israeli gang of War criminals, the so-called “Israeli government” is currently engaged in inciting and planning to launch a nuclear war against Iran, was not able to do anything in response to the Turkish- Iranian-Brazilian agreement of last May 17 2010 to transfer 1.200 Kg of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for nuclear fuel. In retaliation, they perpetrated the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla of humanitarian aid-carrying ships aiming to break the Israel genocide of siege on Gaza imposed since 2006. The Turkish-Iranian-Brazilian agreement stood as an obstacle against the Israeli ambitions to force the world to enter into a spiral of bloody nuclear war. It is wrong to believe that the Turkish government was not expecting the massacre against the Freedom Flotilla which carried 10.000 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Deck of an israeli gun boat.

The military maritime piracy and massacre operation carried out by Shayetet 13, a naval commando unit, in which at least 20 peace activists were murdered and over 50 were wounded, was a decision of the inner circles of power in israel and approved by the Israeli Cabinet headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and other war criminals. This Israeli massacre was a message addressed to Turkey and its new Iranian and Syrian allies. Anyone who knows to read between the lines and the history of Israel’s military leaders can understand that Israel has never distinguished between civilians and militants of the groups which are considered as enemies according to the non-logical standards of the zionists.

The Turkish Aid Ship, Marmara.

Israel committed a massacre against the Turkish ship “Marmara”, which carried humanitarian aid to the Palestinians besieged in the Gaza concentration camp. This massacre was well prepared by the Israeli cabinet, and some pro-Israel governments were informed with full details about the planned crime. Israel commissioned a special unit in the Marine Corps, deployed boats and helicopters patrolling the coast of Ashdod and Gaza and announced the waters off the coast of Gaza a closed military zone. They also announced via their propaganda organs of their intent to transfer the ships and the solidarity activists to the port of Ashdod before deporting them to their countries as illegal immigrants, and to arrest those who refused to identify themselves and sign a pledge not to return. They also prepared tents as detention units to jailing the activists and investigating them; the team of the interrogators which Israel choose to interrogate the peace activist was manned by people with experience as torturers and who had previously “worked” the Palestinian prisoners of the israeli gulag.

Israeli special forces helicopter.

The Israeli ships monitored the Freedom Flotilla from a distance of about 124 km away of the coast of Israel. According to the international movement, the passengers rushed to wear the safe jackets and raised the alert status as soon as the war ships were visible. The peace activists on board of the convoy stated that three Israeli ships spoke to the Turkish ship Captain over radio and warned him of the consequences of approaching the coast of Gaza which was declared as the a closed military area. They demanded from them to bring the humanitarian aid to the port of Ashdod, stressing that the Israeli navy would prevent the penetration a military closed area at any price, meaning that they would not shrink from murdering anybody.

Israeli gun boat, paid in full by German tax payers.

The ships were carrying 10.000 tons of medical supplies and building materials, timber, and 100 pre-built houses, for ten thousands of people who lost their homes due to the Israeli war crimes on Gaza early in the year of 2009. They also carried 500 electric vehicles for the use of disabled people, especially since the recent Israeli war crimes over 600 were left permanently disabled, with amputated legs.

The Israeli Arab Knesset MP Hanan Al-Zoubi had spoken through a loudspeaker in Hebrew with the Israeli military telling them to not attack ships carrying civilian peace activists and humanitarian aid. She added that during her appeal the Israeli soldiers fired live bullets at ships, which led to the wounding of civilians, among them the Arab-Israeli citizen Sheikh Raed Salah, who was shot and now in a critical conditions. She added: “the Israeli gunboats approached the “Caravan of freedom” and asked the captain of the ship to identify himself and the identity of the boat. The ships were in the International waters about 100 miles from Gaza. At this moment the Israeli helicopters attacked the ships from the sky.

Turkish sources and media revealed a document which shows that a death list had been prepared in advance by the Israelis, showing names and pictures of people on board of the ships to be murdered, who, according to Israel, were “involved in the International humanitarian aid for Gaza”. According to the Turkish sources, hundreds of Israeli soldiers stormed the blue Turkish ship “Marmara” flotilla and they had copies of the death list. The list included the names of civilians on the fleet who should be killed”. The document was apparently recovered after one of the Israeli soldiers lost it during the piracy act.

Regarding the complicity of other foreign states in this crime, it has transcended that the Germans Parliamentarians who were on-board, Annette Groth, Inge Höger and Norman Paech, had repeatedly asked the German Foreign Ministry for support and protection, but were rebuffed and instead they were warned to get off the flotilla because of unspecified “dangers”. The strange attitude of Cyprus, which neither allowed the ships to enter port, nor allowed a delegation of Parliamentarians to board the ships, can in retrospect only be explained with the prior knowledge and complicity in the crime if the Cypriot regime.

In the end, Israel has carried out a horrific bloody massacre, and the victims were all civilians.The questions remain: Did Israel achieve its goals with the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla ship? Did Turkey and the other countries on Israel secret hate list (who are listed in secret as “hostile enemies”) receive the Israeli message? Which was the Israeli message? The answer to the first question is a clear now, and the coming days will reveal the answer to the second question and whether Israel really considers Turkey an enemy in secret. Whatever the answers to these questions, Israel should admit that the political equation has changed in the region and Israel and its allies can no longer change the politics.

In the best interest of everybody, Israel should understand that everything they do is against them and that it would be better to desist from further criminal actions. Also in the best interest of everybody, all other nations must understand that Israel no longer has any legitimacy whatsoever as a state, and that its continued existence as a state is undesirable in the extreme to everybody outside of the tiny corrupt elites which are its support base overseas.

May 312010
 

New York Times


By JUDY DEMPSEY


Published: May 31, 2010

BERLIN — President Horst Köhler of Germany resigned Monday amid a barrage of criticism for remarks he made during a visit to Afghanistan.

It was the first time in four decades that a German president has quit the post, the nation’s highest even though it is largely ceremonial.

Mr. Köhler set off the criticism when he said in an interview with Deutschland Radio, the public broadcasting station, that German soldiers serving in Afghanistan or with other peacekeeping missions were deployed to protect German economic interests.

His resignation was another blow for Chancellor Angela Merkel, a close friend and an important conservative ally. She had lobbied hard for him to become president, first in 2004 and again in May 2009, and his departure came just a week after another leading conservative politician, Roland Koch, resigned as premier of the state of Hesse, saying he had had enough of politics.

Mrs. Merkel said Monday that she regretted Mr. Köhler’s decision to resign, adding that she had tried to persuade him to change his mind when he phoned her about his decision.

“I was very surprised,” Mrs. Merkel said. “We had had a very good cooperation. I respect his decision.”

In the radio interview, which was conducted on May 22, Mr. Köhler, a former director of the International Monetary Fund, emphasized the importance of the nation’s economy.

“A country of our size,” he said, “with its focus on exports and thus reliance on foreign trade, must be aware that military deployments are necessary in an emergency to protect our interests, for example, when it comes to trade routes, for example, when it comes to preventing regional instabilities that could negatively influence our trade, jobs and incomes.”

In a short resignation statement delivered alongside his wife, Eva Luise, he said he regretted his remarks and the way he said they were misunderstood. He said he could not remain in office in the face of such intense criticism and loss of confidence.

“I regret that my comments in an important and difficult question for our nation were able to lead to misunderstandings,” Mr. Köhler said.

He complained that some critics had suggested he supported military “missions that are not covered by the Constitution.”

“This criticism lacks any basis,” he said. “It also is lacking in the necessary respect for the presidential office.”

He added, “It was an honor to serve Germany as federal president,” then walked off without taking questions.

Mr. Köhler’s resignation is certain to lead to a fresh debate over the role of German troops in Afghanistan and in other international missions.

Denis MacShane, a British Labour legislator and German expert, said that Mr. Köhler was only speaking the truth but that German commentators did not want to recognize what he had said.

“Köhler made the point that German military capability was relevant to German interests, including German economic interests,” Mr. MacShane said.

“As the world’s second-biggest exporter after China it is self-evidently in Germany’s interest to keep the world as open as possible for the free flow of trade and commerce. It is self-evidently in Germany’s interests to help defeat the growing scourge of piracy.”

Mr. MacShane added that Mr. Köhler’s remarks were “grotesquely and cynically misinterpreted by the German press.” He added, “He expressed the self-evident truth that German military power was now an expression of German national interests.”

Mrs. Merkel, who has come under repeated criticism from her own Christian Democratic Union party as lacking leadership ever since her new coalition of conservative and Free Democrats took office last October, had long tried to avoid dealing with Germany’s new role.

With Mr. Köhler’s resignation, analysts said Mrs. Merkel showed she was out of touch with what some of her closest allies thought.

“Merkel has not got a firm grip on her party,” said Nils Diederich, political scientist at the Free University in Berlin.

He added: “It’s as if she is out of her depth when it comes to deal with crisis over the euro, Greece, the future of Europe and Afghanistan.”

Opposition parties, after roundly criticizing Mr. Köhler last week, had only praise for him on Monday.

The Left Party, the only party that has consistently called for the withdrawal of Germany’s 4,500 troops from Afghanistan, said they respected Mr. Köhler’s decision to resign.

Gesine Lötzsch, leader of the Left Party, praised Mr. Köhler, saying he was speaking out about why German troops are involved in peacekeeping missions. His resignation showed why a major reassessment of Germany’s foreign policy was needed, she said.

“If that takes place as a result of the resignation of the federal president, then it will perhaps be a good signal,” Ms. Lötzsch said.

Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the Social Democrats, praised Mr. Köhler’s commitment to environmental issues and Africa, the president’s two main interests.

Guido Westerwelle, foreign minister and leader of the Free Democrats, said he regretted Mr. Köhler’s resignation.

A new president will have to be chosen by a joint session of the two houses of Parliament, the Bundestag, the lower house, and the Bundesrat, the upper house, by June 30.

In the meantime, the president of the Bundesrat, Jens Böhrnsen, the Social Democratic mayor of Bremen, will take over.

May 312010
 


IBN Live

New Delhi: Turkey has threatened Israel with unprecedented action after Israeli forces attacked an aid vessel, killing 10 peace activists headed to Gaza.

Israel said 10 people died while those on the ship said at least 15 were killed.

A shocked world has responded with outrage. Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel and warned of unprecedented and incalculable reprisals.

Two Turkish activists were reported to be among those killed in the flotilla. Ankara warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy, a development with unpredictable consequences.

Israel has sounded an alert throughout the country fearing rocket attacks by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Arab League has called an urgent meeting on Tuesday to decide on a common response. Egypt is under pressure to end the blockade of Gaza while Greece has cancelled a military exercise with Isreal.

The world is waiting for the response from Washington, how will President Obama react to the provocation from America’s closest ally.

(With inputs from Agencies)


May 312010
 

Notice: No mention of bullets hitting activists before the boats were boarded.

Times Online

Israel’s prime minister has cancelled a planned meeting with President Obama to deal with the escalating international crisis over an attack by the Israeli military on civilian aid ships that left at least 10 dead.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, is in Canada and had been due to visit the White House tomorrow after a series of increasingly fractious meetings with the US over the stalled Middle East peace process.

But after Israeli naval commandos stormed the ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla overnight, killing up to 19 according to some reports and leaving dozens wounded, Mr Netanyahu has found his country the target of international condemnation and protest.

He said he gave the Israeli military his “full backing” but after initially saying his trip would continue, his office said it had been cancelled.

The Israeli army admitted to 10 deaths in the operation, with reports suggesting nine victims of the violence – which mainly took place on a Turkish vessel – were from Turkey. The reports prompted a furious reaction in Istanbul, where tens of thousands of protesters attempted to storm the Israeli consulate, chanting slogans calling for revenge. Turkey, whose relations with Israel were already tense, immediately withdrew its ambassador and cancelled joint military exercises. At least 28 Britons were aboard ships in the flotilla but it is not known if any of them were involved in the violence.

An Israeli government spokesman said its troops were attacked last night with knives and metal pipes as they attempted to board one of the ships from a helicopter. He said that shooting started when one of the civilians made a grab for a soldier’s gun.

A total of ten soldiers were wounded, including at least one hit by live fire, the army said. Two of the dead activists had fired pistols snatched from soldiers, the army said.

As the Israeli Defence Force towed the six ships into the Israel port of Ashdod, some of the wounded were ferried to Israeli hospitals for treatment.

Countries around the world condemned the raid, with the UN human rights chief Navi Pillay saying she was “shocked” at the violence and the UN Middle East envoy saying that “such tragedies are entirely avoidable”. The UN security council is to meet this afternoon over the crisis. Hamas, the Islamist group which rules the Gaza Strip, called on Muslims around the world to “rise up” in protest.

Continues

May 312010
 

Caffeinated Thoughts

JERUSALEM—About 15 people were killed on Monday when the Israeli navy intercepted a convoy of aid ships that activists were trying to sail to the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Channel 10 private television network said.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Free Gaza Movement which organized the six-ship flotilla said at least two were killed.

Casualties could hurt Israel’s international image and diplomatic relations, especially its long-time regional Muslim ally Turkey, whose flag some of the aid ships were flying.

Israel has said it was absolutely determined to maintain its blockade of the Islamist Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory of 1.5 million. It has previously halted such activist ships, although others have reached Gaza before.

Amid Israeli military censorship and a refusal of Israeli officials to comment on what appeared to be a continuing operation three hours after dawn broke over the Mediterranean, Channel 10 made clear it was not citing foreign sources.

After initially reporting that at least 10 people were dead, it later said the death toll was between 14 and 16. It said commandos who had boarded the convoy were still conducting searches and encountering what it called violent resistance.

“Two people have been killed on board the Turkish boat and 30 or more were wounded,” said Mary Hughes Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement, which was behind the convoy.

“As far as we know IDF (Israeli military) commandos descended on the boat from helicopters and took it over.”

The convoy set off in international waters off Cyprus on Sunday in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade of the Gaza Strip and warnings that it would be intercepted.

The flotilla was organized by pro-Palestinian groups and a Turkish human rights organization. Turkey had urged Israel to allow it safe passage and said the 10,000 tonnes of aid the convoy was carrying was humanitarian.

KEY ALLY

Turkey, long Israel’s best Muslim friend and a key ally in a hostile Middle East, was highly critical of Israel’s attack on Gaza 18 months ago, in which 1,400 Palestinians were killed. Relations between the two states are now distinctly chilly and bloodshed at sea will do nothing to improve them.

CNN showed pictures of a commando apparently sliding down a rope and clashing with a man wielding a stick. Other TV images showed what appared to be rubber boarding launches.

France 24 television aired video of a woman in a Muslim headress holding a stretcher with a large bloodstain on it. A man lay below her, apparently wounded, in a blanket.

Israel had said it would prevent the convoy from reaching the Gaza Strip.

Israel and Egypt tightened a blockade on Gaza after Hamas took over the territory in 2007. Israel launched a devastating military offensive in Gaza in December 2008 with the aim of halting daily rocket fire towards its cities.

Most of the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza rely on aid, blaming Israel for imposing restrictions on the amount and type of goods it allows into the territory.

The United Nations and Western powers have urged Israel to ease its restrictions to prevent a humanitarian crisis. They have been urging Israel to let in concrete and steel to allow for postwar reconstruction.

Israel denies there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, saying food, medicine and medical equipment are allowed in regularly. It says the restrictions are necessary to prevent weapons and materials that could be used to make them from reaching Hamas.

May 312010
 
Watch live streaming video from insaniyardim at livestream.com

The above video is a live feed of Turkish television from the flotilla. If anyone can translate the Turkish, please post any relevant news in the comments.

Follow #flotilla on twitter for the latest updates.

Update (12:45 am 5/31/10): Haaretz is reporting: “At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla.” Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros just tweeted that Israeli Army Radio is saying “between 10-14 people killed on flotilla.”

We have a number of reports from the Mediterranean in the last few hours that the Israeli government is following through on its self-destructive and brutal determination to stop the freedom flotilla, and doing so at night. Live feed shows people still on deck. Isabel Kershner of the Times says Israeli boats have approached in international waters, intending to intercept. AP says that the Israeli navy is “stalk”-ing the flotilla. (Great for the rebranding campaign, huh?) Emails, rumors, follow:

From Iara Lee: israeli navy is already coming toward us/ we are still in intl waters and they are already here/ women are instructed to go downstairs/ men have gas masks and i am not sure what they are instructed to do….

From a friend of the flotilla: I was just told by Audrey, a spokesperson, that Israel told the captain that they’re expanding Israel’s territorial waters to 68 miles. The boats are at 70 right now with helicopters flying around. I think it’s going to be very difficult to get timely and accurate news at this point. Hope I’m wrong.

From Felice: The White House is directing callers to contact the State Department main switchboard and ask for the duty officer responsible for dealing with imminent threats of abduction of American citizens. Please call the State Department as well. 202-647-4000. You can remind them that American citizens are being attacked with American military aid given to Israel and tell them they have ample influence with Israel to keep the flotilla safe.

From Lubna, on board, to Greta:

Urgent we have threat from israel (check out the HELP button on www.witnessgaza.com)

What is happening?

Lubna: two israeli ships coming toward us me…. they contact the ship asked who we are and disappeared, now they getting close to the ship we can see them stay here 3 boats are coming not two 3 israeli boats we are 78 mile from israel

people here put on their life jackets, every body preparing here

we didnt expect them now, we thought they will arrive at the morning.