Thursday, May 27, 2010

Israel threatens to stop humanitarian aid ships

The Israeli navy has threatened to stop a flotilla of nine ships headed to Gaza. The Free Gaza flotilla has been at sea for several days and plans to reach Gaza by the weekend.

It is said that Navy Commandos will meet the ships and attempt to divert them to the port of Ashdod. From there Israel says they will deliver the supplies by truck, after
inspecting it for arms and munitions and other contraband.

Large tents and other facilities have been set up in the port of Ashdod, and the 800
or so aboard the ships will be offered deportation or detention. What a wonderful
choice, sent home in disgrace or jail.

Is this legal? Is this just? Is this humane? Is this going too far?

The navy has maintained a blockade of Gaza for three years and has refused to allow
previous attempts to deliver aid to Gaza.

These ships are carrying over 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including cement to rebuild houses that have been destroyed. They are also carrying food, lumber, wheel chairs, paper, medical equipment and supplies needed by the Palestinians.

Israel claims that Gaza is controlled by Hamas, and Hamas will use these supplies
to continue its attacks on Israel. Israel also claims there is no humanitarian crisis
in Gaza.

International organizations in Gaza differ greatly on that report. The United Nations
determined that about three-quarters of the damage done by the Israeli military has
not been repaired. Another report that the blockade was suffocating the agriculture
of the area and about 60 percent of the population was suffering from not enough food.

What will the rest of the world do? Just standby and watch the ships get turned away?
Probably exactly that.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"