Wednesday, June 2, 2010

International Law

Here is what international law says about the attack by Israel on the Gaza convoy:

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:
(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;
(b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
(c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy's armed forces;
(d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy's intelligence system;
(e) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or
(f) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy's military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.

The above is from the "San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994".

So the Israeli actions were well within international law.

The "community peace activists" on board the blockade runners, chanting about Muhammed and Allah and "death to the fascist Jews" are lucky they were not all sent to Davy Jones' locker.  They refused to stop, warning shots were fired, they were boarded by Israeli commandos, and then they attacked the commandos.  Ten of the activists/terrorists were killed.

And of course Israel is criticized.

Israel showed far too much restraint.  My advise to Israel is to just sink all future blockade runners that refuse to stop. The next batch of activists after that may think a little bit before deciding to run a war-time blockade carrying aid and comfort to the enemy.

Anything that reduces the number of "community activists" improves the world in general.

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