fredag 2 juli 2010

Free Gaza movement

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center har gått igenom Free Gaza movements målsättning och instruktioner till deltagarna i Gaza flottiljen.
Trots att rörelsen är registrerad som en humaitär organisation har den ett politiskt mål och var förberedd på att möta de israeliska soldaterna på ett inte helt fredligt sätt.
Det bör påpekas att det inte var Free Gaza movement som gick till angrepp på de iraeliska soldaterna utan medlemmarna i den turkiska IHH organisationen.

Inside documents of the Free Gaza movement seized in the recent flotilla expose considerable discrepancies between its strategy and tactics and its public stance. The documents prove, among other things, the attempts to conceal the aid to the Hamas administration since Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization in the US.

1. Established in 2006, the Free Gaza movement (hereinafter: Free Gaza) is a pro-Palestinian/pro-Hamas group whose stated purpose is to “break the siege” imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip following the Hamas takeover. Free Gaza is registered in Cyprus as a human rights project and is headquartered in Nicosia. Its website says that Free Gaza has branches in 28 countries, including 11 in Europe, 5 in North America (4 in the US and one in Canada), and a branch in Israel (referred to on the movement's website as “Palestine 1948 territories”). The organizational framework of Free Gaza also includes the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which also took part in the latest flotilla.
2. Free Gaza played an important role in the coalition of organizations which orchestrated the latest flotilla, even though the dominant force was the Turkish IHH. Free Gaza started sending aid flotillas to the Gaza Strip in 2008. Prior to the latest flotilla, Free Gaza was able to send four other aid flotillas to the Gaza Strip:
a. August 2008: two ships departed from Cyprus and arrived at the port of Gaza on August 23 (BBC, August 23, 2008).
b. October 2008: a yacht named Dignity with 26 activists and medical supplies on board arrived in Gaza on October 29 (JTA, October 29, 2008).
c. December 2008: the same yacht, Dignity, with about 3 tons of medical supplies, attempted to penetrate the waters of Gaza but was stopped by the Israeli navy (ynet, December 30, 2008).
d. June 2009: a ship called Spirit of Humanity, which attempted to reach Gaza on June 30, was stopped by the Israeli navy near the Gaza port (Jerusalem Post, June 29, 2009).
3. The movement's mission, as appears on its website, is to break the siege of Gaza. It also states that it will not ask for Israel’s permission for its actions, since the movement's intent is “to overcome this brutal siege through civil resistance and non-violent direct action, and establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world” (Free Gaza website).
4. Free Gaza is now organizing yet another flotilla to the Gaza Strip. Nidal Hejazi, a Free Gaza senior official in Norway, said that the movement is now planning to acquire yet another boat from Norway to depart for the Gaza Strip as soon as possible. He said he was hoping to organize a flotilla consisting of more than ten additional boats from European countries. According to Hejazi, upon returning from Turkey on June 3, the movement started working on a list of passengers from Norway to join the flotilla, and the list will be finalized in the coming days (Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, June 5, 2010).
5. Inside documents of Free Gaza seized in the latest flotilla (see appendices for the unedited, complete text) deal with the movement's strategy and with briefings given to its activists prior to the flotilla’s departure. Analysis and comparison of the inside documents to the movement's public stance shows significant discrepancies and even contradictions between them. For example:
a. Legal aspect: a legal briefing ("legal information") given by Free Gaza to its activists shows that the movement is well aware of the legal problem of delivering assistance to the Hamas de-facto administration in the Gaza Strip, particularly considering that the US designated Hamas as a terrorist organization. Reading between the lines also shows that while Free Gaza publicly states that the aid is for the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, Free Gaza is aware that, in fact, it assists the Hamas de-facto administration. Therefore, at a legal briefing for activists who took part in the flotilla, they were warned against making any statement or taking any action that could be construed as providing material assistance to Hamas to avoid being incriminated in the US and in other countries (the movement has activists in the US whose participation in the flotilla seems to contradict US law; also, Free Gaza raises funds in the US, where it has a contact man for allegedly humanitarian purposes, yet those purposes are in fact clearly political).
b. Political aspect: during the legal briefing, as a way of solving the problem of Hamas’ designation as a terrorist organization, the activists were told that Free Gaza had publicly announced that it had no political agenda, and that it was committed to “non-violent humanitarian assistance” to the Palestinian people (Free Gaza is registered as a Human Rights Project, a definition which appears on its website). However, according to an inside document found on the Mavi Marmara, the goals of the flotilla were clearly political rather than humanitarian (the minimum goals defined in the document are generating media [impact] about the blockade on the Gaza Strip and pushing foreign governments to take punitive action against Israel; delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip was not listed as a goal).
c. Response to possible scenarios during the voyage: Free Gaza drew up “defensive” scenarios for the flotilla based on the premise that the IDF would be unable to stop the boats without using force. Several tactics are listed to prevent the IDF from taking over the boat. One of the things mentioned is putting obstructions with sharp points on the deck and barricading in the wheelhouse and the engine room.
d. Although those tactics pale in comparison to the organized violence used by IHH, they are still incompatible with instructions given by Free Gaza to its activists, which categorically prohibited the use of verbal of physical violence. It therefore appears that the term “non-violent resistance”, which appears in the instructions of human rights organizations which took part in the flotilla, was open to interpretation by the various organizations and the various activists, who were eager to confront the IDF soldiers (as demonstrated by the preparations made by IHH, which also defines itself as a humanitarian organization, for a violent confrontation with the IDF).
6. What follows is an analysis of Free Gaza inside documents seized in the latest flotilla.

Läs hela rapporten här.

Här kan man se en halvfärdig dokumentärfilm om Gaza flottiljen.
Den innehåller en del intressanta uttalanden.

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