Gaza flotilla

Military’s Flotilla Probe Finds Mistakes, Not Failures

07/12/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- High-level military officials made mistakes in their handling of the Israeli interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla, but there were "no failures," an Israeli military investigation found.

The official Defense Ministry internal investigation report by a committee headed by Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Giora Eiland, the former head of Israel's National Security Council, was handed over Monday to the army's chief of staff and several high-ranking officers.

Turkey Says Will Cut Ties if Israel Doesn’t Apologize

07/05/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Turkey's foreign minister has threatened to cut ties with Israel unless it apologizes for its deadly interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla, a Turkish newspaper reported.

“Israelis have three options: They will either apologize or acknowledge an international-impartial inquiry and its conclusion. Otherwise, our diplomatic ties will be cut off,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Sunday.

Jewish Activists Sail Flotilla For Shalit To UN’s Backyard

06/24/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

Waving Israeli and U.S. flags and posters of Gilad Shalit, hundreds of Jewish activists on eight ships sailed up the East River to the United Nations on Thursday to call for action on behalf of the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas for four years.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations organized two large passenger boats and several groups joined the flotilla on sailboats and other pleasure craft as it rounded lower Manhattan from the West Side. The flotilla set sail on the eve of the fourth anniversary of Shalit’s capture.

Photo: Michael Datikash

U.S. Calls Flotillas to Gaza ‘Irresponsible’

06/24/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration said sea-bound aid to Gaza is "irresponsible."

"Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by member states and groups that want to do so," a U.S. State Department release said Wednesday, in response to a reporter's question about Lebanese plans to ship aid to the Gaza Strip. "Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances."

U.S. State Department Warns Against Travel in Israel

06/22/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. State Department warned Americans to "exercise a high degree of caution" while traveling in highly trafficked areas in Israel.

It also said that Americans should avoid West Bank demonstrations because of dangers posed by Israeli troops dispersing protesters, and should not attempt to enter the Gaza Strip by sea.

In Congress, J Street, AIPAC fight over Gaza flotilla letters

Update: I had a call this afternoon from an AIPACer who took me to task for writing that the 79 Senators who signed the AIPAC-endorsed letter - now over 80 - was "not a slam dunk."

Point taken; getting 4/5 of the Senate to sign anything is no mean achievement.

San Francisco Protesters Prevent Israeli Ship from Unloading

06/21/2010

(JTA) -- Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Port of Oakland to prevent an Israeli cargo ship from unloading.

About 500 protesters gathered at the port at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday to meet the Zim shipping lines cargo ship. They convinced dockworkers to agree not to unload the ship when it arrived in the port.

The ship did not arrive until 6 p.m. on Sunday. A second shift of dockworkers, at the request of the demonstrators, agreed not to cross the picket line and did not arrive to unload the ship.

Pols: Keep Flotilla Crew Out Of U.S.

06/17/2010
Staff Writer

Just steps from the site of last month’s attempted Times Square bombing, a group of lawmakers gathered Monday to express concern that three people they called terrorists may be planning to come to the United States.

The three were aboard one of the six Gaza-bound aid boats that were forcibly stopped last month by Israeli soldiers. A clash between activists on one of the ships and IDF troops led to the deaths of nine activists, with several soldiers wounded.

Support For Gaza Blockade Seen Sinking in Israel

International pressure causing some Israelis to question sanctions.

06/15/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv—Amid heavy international pressure on the issue, domestic political support for Israel’s economic blockade of the Gaza Strip border passages has badly frayed.

Once confined largely to the Israeli left, criticism of a policy that banned basic goods such as fresh meat, margarine and plaster has spread to security hawks who acknowledge the closure is not serving its original policy goal of weakening Hamas. That may make it easier politically for the government to make concessions on a blockade that, until now, has enjoyed widespread popular support.

Reid-McConnell letter: Consider Turkish Charity for Terror List

06/15/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of both parties in the U.S. Senate are urging President Obama to consider placing the Turkish charity involved in the Gaza flotilla incident on the terrorism list.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), its minority leader, circulated a letter last Friday among their colleagues that would press Obama to investigate the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation.

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