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Legal Background of Israeli Blockade of Gaza

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The Gaza flotilla and the maritime blockade of Gaza - Legal background from the Foreign Ministry

 

Monday, May 31, 2010

 

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: With all the respect in the world for the

hardworking team at the Foreign Ministry - it is hard to understand why this

item wasn't prepared in advance and distributed the moment that the

operation began. ]

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 31 May 2010 - distributed May 31, 2010 5:18 PM

 

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.

 

1. A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. Such blockade has

been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the

Hamas regime that controls Gaza, which has repeatedly bombed civilian

targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the

sea.

 

2. Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under

international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at

sea.

 

3. A blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so

long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral states.

 

4. The naval manuals of several western countries, including the US and

England recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure and

set forth the various criteria that make a blockade valid, including the

requirement of give due notice of the existence of the blockade.

 

5. In this vein, it should be noted that Israel publicized the existence of

the blockade and the precise coordinates of such by means of the accepted

international professional maritime channels. Israel also provided

appropriate notification to the affected governments and to the organizers

of the Gaza protest flotilla. Moreover, in real time, the ships

participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime

blockade is in effect.

 

6. Here, it should be noted that under customary law, knowledge of the

blockade may be presumed once a blockade has been declared and appropriate

notification has been granted, as above.

 

7. Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect,

no boats can enter the blockaded area. That includes both civilian and

enemy vessels.

8. A state may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates

or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked

under international law. The US Commander's Handbook on the Law of Naval

Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach

a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of

evading the blockade.

 

9. Here we should note that the protesters indicated their clear intention

to violate the blockade by means of written and oral statements. Moreover,

the route of these vessels indicated their clear intention to violate the

blockade in violation of international law.

 

10. Given the protesters explicit intention to violate the naval blockade,

Israel exercised its right under international law to enforce the blockade.

It should be noted that prior to undertaking enforcement measures, explicit

warnings were relayed directly to the captains of the vessels, expressing

Israel's intent to exercise its right to enforce the blockade.

 

11. Israel had attempted to take control of the vessels participating in the

flotilla by peaceful means and in an orderly fashion in order to enforce the

blockade. Given the large number of vessels participating in the flotilla,

an operational decision was made to undertake measures to enforce the

blockade a certain distance from the area of the blockade.

 

12. Israeli personnel attempting to enforce the blockade were met with

violence by the protesters and acted in self defense to fend off such

attacks.

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I somehow think the activists licensed captains have an idea about maritime laws, they knew or had a responsibility to know. Ignorance is not an excuse.

 

We welcome them to the adult world where our actions have consequences, unlike the socialist bubble they exist in.

 

And anyone who think Israelis are stupid is walking right off a cliff edge.

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View PostI somehow think the activists licensed captains have an idea about maritime laws, they knew or had a responsibility to know. Ignorance is not an excuse.

 

We welcome them to the adult world where our actions have consequences, unlike the socialist bubble they exist in.

 

And anyone who think Israelis are stupid is walking right off a cliff edge.

 

 

Throughout our (USA) history we have used blockades when we have deemed it appropriate. We have done it with or without permission of any other countries or organizations.

 

One case in point was the Cuban missle crisis. I was in the Marine Corps. We were brought to a formation to hear President Kennedy announce he was blockading Cuba. He then went on to say that any ships trying to run the bockade would be sunk.

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View PostThroughout our (USA) history we have used blockades when we have deemed it appropriate. We have done it with or without permission of any other countries or organizations.

 

One case in point was the Cuban missle crisis. I was in the Marine Corps. We were brought to a formation to hear President Kennedy announce he was blockading Cuba. He then went on to say that any ships trying to run the bockade would be sunk.

 

 

sssshhhh, next they'll be demanding we make reparations to kooba.

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