We now see the final countdown for the Free Gaza Organisation as it starts it possible last journey towards Gaza. One cannot predict the final outcome of this fleet but based on its track record of 2009 it may well fail. There have been some deep concerns regarding safety which I pointed out in my last article and this time we have many more vessels involved as hundreds of crew and passengers head down to the blockade zone off Gaza.
There are all sorts of complicated issue here that have to be taken into account, whilst at the same time an awful lot of deep thinking going on within Israel, the US and Egypt…..added to this are the implications associated with the secret service as to what should or should not happen……so one can expect a cliff hanger on this trip.
We have seen some well planned tactics by both the Israeli Navy who have been carrying out exercises on how to deal with this fleet and the Israeli Government who have during this particular month been extremely generous in letting through convoy after convoy of essential supplies, medicine and what is remarkable - building materials for UNRWA building projects. It is obvious that this serves two purposes, one being to show the West that Israel is flexible and two that the trip by the Free Gaza Fleet is not required based on the amount of aid currently crossing the borders.
Both Israel and Egypt have made it very clear that this type of delivery will no longer be acceptable and that any future attempt by the Viva Palestinia Road Convoys or the Free Gaza Organisation Sea Passages will be blocked. But could there be something else going on here that could be a sort of cat and mouse game or yet another false flag operation.
As they say action speaks louder than words and so is this a bluff by the Israelis? and will they stop all the boats or maybe just let the passenger vessels enter? From the Free Gaza perspective they have clearly said they will not allow the Israeli Navy to separate the passenger from the freight.
From the Israeli perspective they have said no vessel will enter the blockade zone so one can only assume it will be a full blockade with the navy advising the fleet to turn around and go home. If however on the other hand the passenger vessels are allowed to continue on in then definitely something more sinister is taking place.
We must also remember that at the current time the Israel Air force have very conveniently started up more intense air attacks which again would spell disaster for the Free Gaza Group.
Then we have the Egyptians who generally are under the control of the US and Israeli Government as to what they are allowed to do as far as allowing aid or people over the border etc. They have indicated that they will receive the fleet in the event the Israelis stop them from entering Gaza (most unusual change of policy).
What we are looking at here (in the bigger picture) is the vast sums of money involved in raising the convoys and fleets, their crews and cargo’s. Whilst I was in Cyprus last year I learnt of thousands upon thousand of tons of (hard to come by) aid being dumped in the outback of Egypt near to the Rafah crossing…..either because of the fact it could never be delivered or that it had gone by its safe use by date. In the same light last year a complete consignment of cement had to be left behind on the jetty in the Port of Larnaca and the eventual loss of the vessel itself
Again everyone understands the passion for people wanting to do something for the poor people of Gaza and Palestine in general but when one sees this valuable money resource ending up in a pit or being turned away it makes one look more seriously at the financial viability of the projects concerned. If one cannot deliver then one should stop and allow this “hard to come by money” to be sent elsewhere or for some other charity to benefit from it.
When such money is creamed off the people of the world it is hard for other charities to find their minimal existence. It becomes a much harder pill to swallow when all the money is handed over directly into the arms of the Israelis who have no intention of seeking peace with the Palestinians.
Through their actions of using totally illegal weapons on an almost daily basis they are making sure the genetics of Palestine are gone forever…….unfortunately for them they also have nuked themselves repeatedly since 2006.
We now have UNRWA jumping up and down making it look as if the UN are doing the right thing when in actual fact they are doing absolutely nothing to resolve this Israeli – Palestinian issue. They are currently even promoting this fleet efforts and yet they at the UN do not make any attempt to take action and move (by force) peace keepers into the strip as they have done in Lebanon.
As I said there are so many questions to ask on all issues from Safety at sea to the financial viability of such an impossible task of trying to enter a full blockade zone that is controlled by the Israeli Government via its Navy with “The full approval of the Palestine Authority”….yes you heard right….Palestine handed over control of Gaza’s water to the Israel Government….therefore everything the Israeli Navy is doing is perfectly legal and the UN know that……..from my own days of patrolling such coastlines it’s a question of simply asking the approaching fleet to turn around and go home or firing warning shots across the bows of each and every vessel…..in the event the Captains of those vessels do not follow those instruction they are legally within there rights to open fire on the vessels themselves which has been done in so many other areas of the world.
As I said there is much more going on here than what I have already covered and the next 48 hours will start to take shape…..will the Israelis allow all the vessels into Gaza?……I doubt it! Will the Israelis allow just the passengers into Gaza? Again if they do something rather suspicious is going on
Will the Free Gaza Organization stick to their world and not allow the fleet to be split up? Either way I am sure that their highly qualified team of experts will resolve the issues on hand.
Finally we have the repeated comments about the Israeli Military carrying out a total blanket on all communications and navigational systems of the Free Gaza Fleet thus rendering them blind for the duration……this is a normal practice carried out by the military and is called Electronic Warfare or EW……no doubt this term will be used in the next briefing……..on this topic if this is correct (which it can be) then how come when they blanket out all communications and navigational systems on the vessels that their Satellite phones continue to work? Deeply suspicious hey?
As I said there are many many grey areas in this entire operation and as an expert in this particular area and having worked for NATO myself I can assure you of some very interesting findings…….so lets just sit back and watch from a distance as this interesting high risk operation unfolds.
Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant – 26/5/2010