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June 10th, 2010


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Title: June 10th, 2010

June 10th, 2010
Operation Sea Breeze Summary and Background May
31st June 5th
Table of Contents
Strategic Context
Flotilla Background
Flotilla Participants
State of Armed Conflict
The Naval Blockade
Blockade Enforcement
IHH and Turkey
Humanitarian Status Gaza
Diplomatic Efforts
Other Terrorist Links
Hamas Humanitarian Aid
Participating Boats
The Aftermath
Intercepting the Boats
Materials Onboard
Interception to Repatriation
IDF Investigation
The Rachel Corrie
The Broader Context
Operation Cast Lead
Increased deterrence
Hamas Coup
State of Calm
Unilateral Disengagement
PA Elections Shalit Kidnapped
Rockets and Mortars
Terrorist Activity in 2010 (As of June 7th)
Military Buildup
Light Arms Attacks
Jan.-Jun. 2010 56 Rockets 33 Mortar Shells
Anti-Tank Fire
Refusal of International Community Conditions
  • Cessation of hostile terrorist activity against
  • Recognition of agreements between Israel and the
  • Recognition of the State of Israels right to

The Naval Blockade on Gaza
Israel enforces certain restrictions aimed at
ensuring its security, by preventing Hamas
military buildup. This is subject to ongoing
scrutiny by the Supreme Court.
Under International Law, naval blockades is a
legitimate mean in armed conflicts. Its use
requires the fulfillment of a number of
The date the blockade begins, the duration and
location must be notified to every affected
country. Israel began the blockade on 03/01/09
A State that declares a naval blockade must
enforce it in practice
Blockades must be applied impartially to vessels
of all States
The goal of the blockade must not be to punish
the population or refuse supplies vital for its
The damage to the population must not exceed the
military advantage.
Neutral Access
A naval blockade must not bar access to the ports
and coasts of neutral States
Humanitarian Status in Gaza
Weekly Transfers (30/5-5/6)
In coordination with the PA and NGOs, supplies
and goods are transferred on a daily basis to the
Gaza Strip, extending beyond the requirements of
international law. Israel continues to assist in
ensuring that basic water and infrastructure
requirements in Gaza exist, allowing equipment
transfers when necessary.
Trucks 484
Tons 12,413
Medical Evacs 373
Fuel 1.08 million liters
Transfers in 2009
Trucks 30,920
Tons 738,576
Medical Evacs 10,544
NGO Personnel 21,200
Pictures of a Gaza Market (2009)
Hamas and Humanitarian Aid
Hamas seeks to create an illusion of a
humanitarian crisis within the Gaza Strip. This
relies largely on preventing the entry or
distribution of aid and exploitation of the aid
for its own purposes, achieving political and
military gains at the expense of Gaza residents.
Recent Examples
While the Hamas charges Gaza residents for
electricity, it has refused to transfer the money
to the PA for fuel, leading to a Hamas instigated
reduction in transfer.
Using Molotov cocktails, radical elements in Gaza
set fire to a UNRWA camp (23/5,10), apparently
due to the non-religious agenda of the camp.
Pictures of the Burnt UNRWA Childrens Camp
In mid-May 2010, the Hamas razed dozens of homes
within the Gaza Strip, beating civilians who
refused to leave them.
In early June 2010, Hamas forces raided and shut
down numerous NGO charities in the Gaza Strip. UN
officials expressed concern.
Flotilla Background
On April 28th, a number of organizations, led by
the Turkish-based IHH, announced that they
intended to sail a flotilla to the Gaza Strip
coast to breach the naval blockade imposed in
January, 2009.
The flotilla aimed to reach Gaza with
approximately 10 ships, departing from south of
Cyprus on May 24th. This was the 3rd flotilla
since the blockade was imposed. Two flotillas
attempting to breach the blockade since have been
stopped. Humanitarian supplies aboard transferred
to Gaza by the land crossings.
The option of transferring supplies via the land
crossings was conveyed, even suggesting that the
organizers oversee the transfer. This was
declined by the organizers, who declared that the
purpose of the flotilla was to breach the
blockade. Israel unequivocally conveyed that
ships would not be permitted to breach the
Enforcing Naval Blockades
Attempted Breaching of the Blockade
The entry of a vessel into a blockaded area
without permission constitutes a breach of a
naval blockade. According to International Law,
if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a
vessel has breached the blockade, it may be
captured. If the vessel refuses to stop, use of
force is permissible.
Moreover, a vessel may be captured when
attempting to breach a naval blockade if there
are reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel
intends to breach it, even before the vessel
reaches the blockaded area. In such a case, the
capture must take place outside of territorial
waters of neutral states.

Attempted breach of blockade occurs from the time
a vessel or aircraft leaves a port or airfield
with the intention of evading the blockade
The Commanders Handbook on the Law of Naval
Operations, US Navy
Diplomatic Efforts to Avoid the Use of Force
Prior to the operation, a multi-pronged
diplomatic effort was made in to prevent the
flotilla from attempting to breach the naval
MFA and Others
Israeli Defense Forces
Meeting between Navy Planning and Organization
Department and relevant foreign attachés
Messages conveyed to relevant countries.
Meetings on working levels and higher in relevant
Personal meeting between Navy Commander in Chief
and relevant attachés
Message conveyed to flotilla organizers
Written messages conveyed to all foreign
delegates in Israel
Letter from Navy CoC sent to relevant naval CoCs.
Reiteration of blockade
Messages prior to interception and boarding
Offer to transfer humanitarian supplies through
Warning that necessary measures would be taken if
course unchanged
Warning that ship would be boarded barring change
Participating Boats
Mavi Marmara
Challenger 1
Max. Speed
15 knots
13 knots
20 knots
15 knots
Unknown (Hoisted US flag)
Defne Y
Rachel Corrie
13 knots
12.5 knots
12.5 knots
Max. Speed
The IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) is a radical
Islamic organization established in 1992,
formally registered in Istanbul (1995) and led by
Bulent Yildrim. While its activities include
legitimate humanitarian activity, it also
includes the support of radical Islamic terrorist
Hamas The IHH openly supports the Hamas, as a
member of the Union of Good (UoG), which supports
Hamas institutes in the PA. UoG was defined a
terrorist entity by the US government in 2008.
al-Qaeda In 2006, a Danish research group showed
IHH involvement in recruitment, the purchase of
weapons and the planning of attacks for al-Qaeda.
Global Jihad IHH has links with the GJ in the
Middle East, as well as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan
and Chechnya. A CIA report (1996) exposed the
IHHs connection with extremist groups. It also
provided aid to a terrorist planning an attack in
the US (2000)
IHH provided 40 core activists, three boats,
including the Mavi Marmara, as well as aid to
the Hamas regime in preparing to receive the
flotilla. Bulent Yildrim also admitted to having
children and elderly on board as a deliberate
human shields (30 May)
The IHH and Turkey
Core group of 40 IHH activists on Mavi Marmara
Turkey and the IHH
Boarded without security inspection in Istanbul
Elements in the Turkish government continue to
defend and praise the IHH, despite the
organizations terrorist affiliations and the
blatant, organized attack on Israeli soldiers.
Hierarchy based on regional coordinators. Wore
security badges during journey and carried radio
communication devices
Top deck restricted to IHH access alone
Turkey refused to nine separate Israeli requests
to provide security oversight over the ships
loading, unlike other countries which provided
Conducted instructional briefing regarding
resistance during the boarding process.
The Mavi Marmara contained passengers alone, no
humanitarian aid.
The Mavi Marmara was acquired from a Turkish
company (IDO), created in 1987 by the Istanbul
Gas masks and Turkish military vests used by IHH
Interviews with passengers aboard reveal that the
Turkish government aided the flotilla prior to
its departure.
Other Terrorist Links
While internal investigations continue, it is
becoming more and more evident that individuals
affiliated with terrorist groups were aboard the
Armed Groups
A large number of passengers involved in the
extreme violence were found without any
identification papers and with large thousands of
Euros in envelopes, indicating that they may be
mercenaries, or people wanted for unlawful
activity, therefore hiding their identity.
  • Specific passengers with known terror
  • Fatimah Mahdami Iranian-born US resident caught
    smuggling into the Gaza Strip and an active
    member of Viva Palestine
  • Ken OKeefe Irish/US citizen operative in the
    Hamas organization has attempted to enter Gaza
    to form a commando unit
  • Hassan Iynasi Turkish citizen supported the
    Islamic Jihad financially
  • Hussein Urosh Turkish citizen who sought to
    smuggle Al-Qaeda operatives into the Gaza Strip
  • Ahmed Umimon French citizen of Moroccan origin
    Hamas operative

Interception of the Ships
On 31 May, at 0428, after numerous warnings were
given to ships approaching the Gaza Strip,
clarifying that entrance to the blockaded area
would not be allowed, the six ships were boarded.
Mavi Marmara
Boarding Preparation
Soldiers boarding the boats were instructed
personally by the Chief of the Navy to use the
minimal amount of force necessary, as befits
operations involving civilians. They were
equipped with paintball guns, beanbag ammunition,
tasers and stun grenades, as well as pistols to
be used when facing a clear and immediate threat
to life.
Defne Y
Despite some resistance from passengers on five
boats (excluding the Mavi Marmara), no injuries
or casualties were sustained. The boats were
brought to Ashdod port without extraordinary
Violence on the Mavi Marmara
Soldiers upon the Mavi Marmara encountered
organized, life-threatening violence. Troops
limited fire to aggressors alone, after
non-lethal force failed to prove effective. All
casualties resulted from attacks immediately
threatening the life of Israeli soldiers.
Calls on the boat directed non-IHH members
(including 16 parliament members 34
journalists) below deck prior to the IDF
boarding. Weapons were prepared and IHH members
split into squads for the violent confrontation.
IHH Violence Upon Boarding
Soldiers were fired upon, thrown off the top
deck, abducted, stabbed and attacked with metal
rods, slingshots, and other weapons. Soldiers
were forced to respond with force in self-defense.
7 IDF Wounded (2 critical)
9 IHH casualties 34 wounded
We will definitely resist and we will not allow
the Israelis to enter here if Israel wants to
board the ship, it will meet strong resistance.
Bulent Yildrim, Head of the IHH May 30th, 2010
There were guys who they threw off the top deck,
and who were stripped of their gear. They jumped
into the sea as a last resort
Testimony of one of the Navy commandos on the
Mavi Marmara
IHH Preparation for Boarding
Metal rods
Kevlar boards
Military vests
Electric saws
Large tools
Gas Masks
Every person who came down the ropes, was grabbed
by three or four people and violently assaulted.
We were lynched. They had metal rods, knives,
slingshots, and glass bottles. At some point,
live fire was shot at two of our soldiers.
Testimony of one of the Navy commandos on the
Mavi Marmara
Interception until Repatriation
Injured passengers were evacuated by helicopter
to five hospitals in Israel
June 1st
Two Egyptians returned to Egypt
Approximately 120 transferred to Jordan as final
destination and as transfer point
Hadassah Ein Karem
Tel Hashomer
June 2nd
Four Lebanese residents returned via Rosh HaNikra
Procedure Once in Port
June 3rd
With the exception of 7 injured passengers and 3
others, all passengers returned to Turkey via 3
airplanes and 3 ambulance airplanes
In Ashdod Port, passengers were given medical
examinations and screened for security purposes.
Passengers who agreed to sign deportation notices
were brought to Ben Gurion Airport for immediate
repatriation. Those who refused were detained
until deportation procedures were completed.
June 6th
One returned on flight to Turkey
The Linda (Rachel Corrie)
Interception July 5th
The Rachel Corrie arrived in the region on July
5th and, after ignoring calls to avert its
course, was boarded by IDF forces. The boarding
was done calmly and peacefully. All 19 passengers
were brought to Ashdod port, where they underwent
medical examinations and security screening.
Repatriation July 6th
On July 6th, 8 of the passengers were transferred
to Jordan via Allenby crossing. The remaining
passengers were transferred to Turkey by airplane.
The perceptible difference between the behavior
of the activists upon the Linda, as well as the
other five ships, when compared to the hostile
aggression from the passengers of the Mavi
Marmara, reflect upon the nature of the peace
activists aboard each of the ships.
Materials Aboard the Ships
Materials Aboard the Ships
After passengers disembarked, the supplies were
unloaded and transferred to some 80 trucks, sent
to pass through the land crossings at Kerem
Shalom. The supplies included medical equipment
(including expired medicine), clothing and
childrens toys. Material requiring refrigeration
are in IDF storage units.
However, large portions of the aid were rendered
useless by poor packaging upon the boat. In
addition, much of the materials did not match the
standard definition of humanitarian aid.
Camouflage fabric intended to be transferred was
found on board. Much of the clothing is old and
not wearable and medical equipment was not
transferred in a sterile manner.
Transferring the Materials
Hamas has refused to accept the materials,
threatening those who do try to transfer them.
The materials remain at Kerem Shalom
crossing. The routine, daily shipments of
supplies continue in the past week, 484 trucks
(including two with concrete) were transferred.
IDF Investigation
Field investigations within the navy are
currently taking place. In addition, the Chief
of the General Staff has appointed a professional
inquiry team, led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora
Eiland to examine the flotilla operation and
establish lessons. The team is to present the
findings no later than July 4th. Consisting of
professionals who are experts in the field, the
investigative team was not part of the chain of
command, allowing impartial investigation.
Model of IDF Investigations
Criminal misconduct
Command investigation
Criminal investigation
Supreme Court oversight
MAG oversight
Credible allegation or non-operational incident
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