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Sep-02-2011 19:49printcomments

Read the UN's Acceptance of Murder on the High Seas

Includes UN report: UN chief receives report of panel of inquiry into Gaza flotilla incident

The MV Mavi Marmara aid-carrying ship leaving Antalya, Turkey for Gaza on 22 May 2010
The MV Mavi Marmara aid-carrying ship leaving Antalya, Turkey for Gaza on 22 May 2010

(SALEM, Ore.) - Foreword by Editor: This is the United Nations report from their Website detailing their acceptance of Israel's attack on an unarmed vessel in international waters in 2010, that left nine people dead and dozens shot and seriously injured.

We have detailed this harrowing experience in many ways, many times, and we likely always will. Our writer Ken O'Keefe was aboard the ship Mavi Marmara and personally removed weapons from two of the attacking Israeli 'commandos'. The UN acceptance of these murders that took place while the ship was nowhere near Gaza or Israeli waters, is no surprise, it is proof that the agency is an absolute and utter failure much like the United States government, and its time has come and gone.

It is a sad day in the world. Murder is never acceptable and there is never a time that it is justified. When people become so intensely drawn toward assuring the liberty of others that they place their lives on the line, their sacrifices should be rewarded by humanitarian action, not criminal action, which the United Nations now joins Israel and the United States in, based on mutual complicity. It doesn't matter, those of us who are paying attention are paying very close attention and we will never let this matter die.

Here is the UN report: UN chief receives report of panel of inquiry into Gaza flotilla incident

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today received the report of the independent panel of inquiry examining the May 2010 incident involving a flotilla headed for Gaza which found that Israel’s interception of the vessels was “excessive and unreasonable,” while the flotilla acted “recklessly” in attempting to breach the naval blockade.

The four-member panel, headed by Geoffrey Palmer, the former New Zealand prime minister, was not designed to determine individual criminal responsibility.

Rather, it was tasked with making findings about the facts, circumstances and context of the 31 May incident, in which a convoy of humanitarian aid ships bound for Gaza after departing Turkey was intercepted by Israeli forces leading to the loss of life.

“The loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces during the take-over of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable,” the panel stated, referring to one of the ships on which nine passengers were killed and many others seriously wounded.

It added that there was “significant mistreatment” of passengers by Israeli authorities after the take-over of the vessels had been completed through until their deportation, including physical mistreatment, harassment and intimidation, unjustified confiscation of belongings and the denial of timely consular assistance.

At the same time, the panel says that the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza was imposed as a “legitimate security measure” to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.

The flotilla acted “recklessly” in attempting to breach the naval blockade of Gaza, and that more could have been done to warn flotilla participants of the potential risks involved and to dissuade them from their actions, according to the report.

The panel makes a number of recommendations in its 105-page report, including that Israel should continue with its efforts to ease its restrictions on the movement of goods and people to and from Gaza, and that all humanitarian missions wishing to assist Gaza’s population should do so through established procedures.

“The events of 31 May 2010 should never have taken place as they did and strenuous efforts should be made to prevent the occurrence of such incidents in the future,” states the panel.

Mr. Ban, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, expressed his gratitude to the members of the panel for their hard work and to the parties for their full cooperation.

The panel, which was launched in August 2010, also comprised Alvaro Uribe, former Colombian president; Israel’s Joseph Ciechanover; and Turkey’s Özdem Sanberk.

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