maandag 24 januari 2011

Entering Free Gaza Flottielje was conform internationaal recht volgens Israelische commissie

Waarschijnlijk heeft de commissie gelijk dat zowel de blokkade van Gaza als de entering van de flottielje conform internationaal recht waren, maar die conclusie zal uiteraard alleen de vrienden van Israel (zoals de regeringen van de VS en Nederland) tevreden stellen. Ondanks twee toegevoegde internationale waarnemers, die de conclusies van de commissie onderschrijven, zal de rest van de wereld deze Israelische commissie afdoen als partijdig.
Internationaal recht is bovendien verre van eenduidig en sterk onderhevig aan interpretaties en politieke opvattingen (en eigenbelang), en er zijn meestal ook genoeg deskundigen te vinden met een tegengesteld oordeel, dat ze op datzelfde internationale recht baseren.

The Jerusalem Post
Turkel: Flotilla raid was in accordance with int'l law
01/23/2011 14:38

First part of c'tee report says actions carried out by IDF to enforce Gaza naval blockade had regrettable consequences of loss of human life.

The four Israeli members and two international observers who composed the Turkel Commission to investigate the flotilla incident on May 31 unanimously agreed that Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and its overland import restrictions, as well as its military actions in capturing the Mavi Marmara were in accordance with international law.

According to the concluding remarks of the committee members and international observers, "The naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip – in view of the security circumstances and Israel's efforts to comply with its humanitarian obligations – was legal pursuant to the rules of international law. The actions carried out by Israel on May 31, 2010, to enforce the naval blockade had the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries. Nonetheless, and despite the limited number of uses of force for which we could not reach a conclusion, the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law."

The commission, officially known as the Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010, released the first of two scheduled reports on Sunday. Commission spokesman Ofer Lefler explained that each report deals with separate questions which the government asked the members of the panel to  investigate, and said that each of them would be final.

The first report addressed the question of whether or not the naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel conformed with the rules of international law. This included an assessment of the actions taken by the IDF to enforce the naval blockade and of the actions taken by the organizers of the flotilla and its participants and their identity.

Regarding the legality of the operation itself, the commission reached the conclusion that the Israeli armed forces' interception and capture of the Gaza Flotilla vessels – including having the Shayetet 13 naval commandos board from the Morena speedboats and fast-rope from helicopter onto the roof of the vessels – was consistent with established international naval practice.

'IHH activists violently opposed IDF boarding boat'

The commission concluded that on board the Mavi Marmara and the other flotilla vessels was a group of IHH and affiliated activists (the IHH activists) that violently opposed the Israelis boarding. The IHH activists who participated in that violence were civilians taking a direct part in hostilities.

"The force used against civilians on board the flotilla was governed by the principles of "necessity" and use of "proportionate force" associated with human rights based law enforcement norms. However, the IHH activists lost the protection of their civilian status for such time as they directly participated in the hostilities. The use of force against these direct participants in hostilities is governed by the applicable rules of international humanitarian law," the report said.

The commission explained that the IHH activists carried out the violence on board the Mavi Marmara by arming themselves with a wide array of weapons, including iron bars, axes, clubs, slingshots, knives, and metal objects.

"Overall, the IDF personnel acted professionally in the faces of extensive and unanticipated violence. This included continuing to switch back and forth between less-letha and lethal weapons in order to address the nature of the violence directed at them," the commission said.

'Israel and Gaza Strip involved in international armed conflict'

The commission found that the conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip is an international armed conflict. It also found that Israel's "effective control" of the Gaza Strip ended when the disengagement was completed. The purpose of the naval blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip was primarily a military-security one.

The commission also found that the naval blockade was imposed on the Gaza Strip lawfully, with Israel complying with the conditions for imposing it.

As part of the conclusions it was also found that Israel is complying with the humanitarian obligations imposed on the blockading party, including the prohibition of starving the civilian population or preventing the supply of objects essential for the survival of the civilian population and medical supplies. Israel also makes sure that the the damage to the civilian population is not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

"The imposition and enforcement of the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip does not constitute "collective punishment" of the population of the Gaza Strip," the report went on to say.

"International law does not give individuals or groups the freedom to ignore the imposition of a naval blockade that satisfies the conditions for imposing it and that is enforced accordingly, especially where a blockade satisfies obligations to neutral parties, merely because in the opinion of those individuals or groups it violates the duties of the party imposing the blockade vis-à-vis the entity subject to the blockade," continued the commissions conclusions.

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