As you can see from the headlines this morning, the “aid” flotilla heading to Gaza was intercepted by the IDF navy. The Israel Project reports that the flotilla
which was trying to reach Gaza was organized by IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi – “humanitarian relief fund”), a Turkish aid foundation which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Free Gaza, which describes itself as a human rights group.
The IHH has known links to global jihadi networks, openly supports Iran-backed Hamas and maintains close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, a global umbrella Islamic organization of which Hamas is a branch, as well as mujahideen groups in Afghanistan
Egypt also supports the flotilla, in spite of actually blockading Gaza with a border fence.
This is how things developed this morning,
Here’s video of the attack:
From the Israeli Foreign Office report,
he Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid material which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.
During the interception of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.
As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire.
According to initial reports, these events resulted in over ten deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured; in addition, more than four naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.
The bigger issue, however, is America’s leadership crisis.
Richard Fernandez explains,
Relations between Washington and Israel were already at near historic lows. Now it looks like we ain’t seen nothing yet. But the immediate headlines should not obscure the 3 trends which are driving up tensions in the region and threaten to drive them up further. The first is Iran’s continuing search for a nuclear weapon, a development which Israel views as near existential threat. The second is the buildup of Hezbollah missiles which can reach all the major Israeli population from launching sites Lebanon. And the third are the unintended consequences of President Obama’s diplomacy which has resulted in the singling out of Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal at the month long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York. Like a circular-running torpedo it managed to miss its every intended target — missing North Korea and Iran — while hitting Israel.
Together those three developments — the shadow of the Iranian nukes, the missiles of Hezbollah and the loss of American support — may have fostered a regional perception that Israel is vulnerable. Certainly the flotilla organizers could not have been insensible to the rising pressure on Israel and were determined to exploit it, nor was it lost on the IDF that if they showed weakness in the face of the flotilla there would be more to follow. In one sense the flotilla put to sea on the perceived political tides and were met by IDF elements sailing on the contrary currents. The result was a clash inconsequential in itself, but not in the sparks that it may generate.
Yet President Obama thinks that
Let’s face it: this has been the toughest year and a half since any year and a half since the 1930s.
Well, watching the news this morning, it would not be unrealistic to say that things are going to get a lot tougher.
The Lid has a timeline.
Please note there will be no podcast this morning.
Post re-edited to add omitted material