Jun 1, 2010

Hadassah: Updates Concerning Flotilla Raid Off Israel's Coast


June 1, 2010

Updates Concerning Flotilla Raid Off Israel's Coast


Yesterday, four wounded (all foreign citizens) from the flotilla off Gaza's coast were taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem.  An Israeli Airforce helicopter landed at the Ein Kerem helipad at 10:30 a.m. local time. The Hadassah Trauma Unit was already prepared with physicians, nurses, X-Ray technicians and all the required equipment for a mass casualties' event. The injured four were taken by Magen David Adom ambulances from the helipad to the Trauma Unit for treatment. At last report, all were in mild condition and fully conscious

Today, Hadassah representatives participated in several conference calls with major Jewish leaders and diplomats regarding the situation.  Danny Ayalon, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, emphasized Israel's desire to avoid confrontation and continued efforts for peaceful dialogue.  Ayalon will be visiting patients at Hadassah and Rambam later today.  Hadassah leaders will also be briefed by Ambassador Zalman Shoval later this afternoon for an off-the-record update on the situation from his perspective.

In a conference call with Mark Regev, Spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he shared the following key talking points:

·        There were six boats in the flotilla; five were boarded without incident  

·        The Mavi Marmara was filled with hard-core activists who were looking for a fight

·        This mission was not about humanitarian aid but about breaking the blockade

·        Egypt and Israel offered to have the boats dock in their ports to transport the supplies to Gaza

·        Both Israeli and Egyptian offers were refused

·        International allies of Hamas use any and all opportunities to transport weapons into Gaza, necessitating Israel's insistence for a naval blockade as well as strict cargo inspections 

·        The naval blockade is a matter of life and death for Israel and is in compliance with international law

·        Regev thanked the U. S. for its show of support at the United Nations

Below are background articles, press releases, videos, and statements from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and The Israel Project.

From the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:

Flotilla Organizers Responsible for Tragic Events: Refused Peaceful Option and Deliberately Chose Confrontation 

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chair Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein released the above statement. 

From The Israel Project:

Netanyahu Cancels U.S. Trip in Wake of Pre-Meditated Attack on Israeli Soldiers
UN Security Council Meeting to Discuss Incident
TIP Press Release, May 31, 2010
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday (May 31) he has canceled his planned visit to the United States to meet with President Obama at the White House Tuesday following a planned attack on Israeli soldiers by weapons-wielding protesters illegally entering Israeli waters. [Read More]

Close-Up Footage of Mavi Marmara Passengers Attacking IDF Soldiers 
Video footage from idfnadesk, the Israeli Defense Forces' YouTube Channel, May 31, 2010
Video taken by IDF naval boat shows the passengers of the Mavi Marmara, one of the ships in the 'Free Gaza' Flotilla, violently attacking IDF soldiers who were trying to board the ship after having sent repeated requests for the boat to change course.    

Videos of tragic incident off the coast of Israel
TIP will continue to monitor the situation and upload new royalty-free footage to our video player as new content is available.  

MEMRI TV Clips on the Gaza Flotilla: Activists On Board Chant Songs of Martyrdom at Departure 
Gaza flotilla participants created war atmosphere before confronting Israel
Participants chanted Islamic battle cry invoking killing of Jews and called for Martyrdom
Article by Itamar Marcus  and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, May 31, 2010
On the day before the  Gaza flotilla confronted the Israeli navy, Al-Jazeera TV documented  the pre-battle atmosphere created by men on board the flotilla, who  chanted a well-known Islamic battle cry invoking the killing and  defeat of Jews in battle:  "[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh  Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!" [Read More]

Statement from Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriella Shalev
The Security Council is convened this afternoon following the serious event that took place today early morning local time, when a convoy of six ships attempted to break the maritime blockage off the cost of Gaza. [Read More]

The Gaza flotilla and the maritime blockade of Gaza - Legal background 
Israel Ministry of  Foreign Affairs, May 31, 2010
A maritime blockade is in  effect off the coast of Gaza. It has been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza. [Read More]

Behind the Headlines: The Israeli humanitarian lifeline to Gaza 
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 25, 2010
Well over a million tons  of humanitarian supplies entered Gaza from Israel over the last 18  months equaling nearly a ton of aid for every man, woman and child  in Gaza. Millions of dollars worth of international food aid continually flows through the Israeli humanitarian apparatus, ensuring that there is no food shortage in Gaza. [Read More]

Protesters Attack with Guns and Knives, Israel Regrets 10 Dead 
Injured Evacuated to Israeli Hospitals
TIP Press Release, May 31, 2010
Israel's  Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in a press conference on  Monday (May 31) regarding the Turkish-led flotilla that: "The armada of hate and  violence in support of Hamas terror organization was a premeditated  and outrageous provocation." [Read More]

Group with Terrorist Ties Attempts to Deliver Supplies to Gaza, Refuses to Deliver Letter to Captive Israeli Soldier 
TIP Press Release,  May 28, 2010
A flotilla of pro-Palestinian demonstrators with links to terrorist groups is en route to the Gaza Strip in defiance of Israeli government requests to deliver their shipment through legal channels.  [Read More]

IDF forces met with pre-planned violence when attempting to board flotilla
Previously,  Israel Navy warned the flotilla that the Gaza region is closed to maritime traffic.
May 31, 2010
Early this morning (31 May), IDF naval forces intercepted six ships attempting to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israel Navy that were issued prior to the action. [Read More]

Behind the Headlines: The seizure of the Gaza flotilla
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 31, 2010
Despite attacks by Hamas, Israel maintains an ongoing humanitarian corridor for the transfer of food and humanitarian supplies to Gaza, used by internationally recognized organizations including the United Nations and the Red Cross.  [Read More]

The Flotilla to the Gaza Strip – Update
The Intelligence and  Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) Press Release, May 30,  2010
As of the afternoon of May 30, five ships were located  near Cyprus and had not yet set sail for the Gaza Strip. The sixth boat, Challenger II, which belongs to the Free Gaza flotilla and carries 14 members of European parliaments, was expected to join the five ships between Cyprus and Gaza. [Read More]

Flotilla YouTube Videos from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

More Flotilla YouTube Videos:

A brutal ambush at sea 
Article by Ron Ben-Yishai, May 31, 2010
Ron Ben Yishai recounts bloody clash aboard Gaza-bound vessel: The lacking crowd-dispersal means, the brutal violence of 'peace activists,' and the attempt to bring down an IDF helicopter. [Read More]   


Share this backgrounder with your friends, family, and contacts and make sure to visit the Advocacy section of the Hadassah website for continuing updates and more information: http://www.hadassah.org/advocacy

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