Inside the Middle East
May 30, 2010
Posted: 1629 GMT

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Defying an Israeli blockade, a convoy of ships carrying food and aid resumed its journey toward Gaza Sunday afternoon after mechanical problems caused a delay.

Osama Qashoo of the Free Gaza organization, members of which are on one of the boats, said the flotilla was on the last leg of its journey.

Hamas marine security take to the waters off Gaza City port on May 28 ahead of the expected flotilla.
Hamas marine security take to the waters off Gaza City port on May 28 ahead of the expected flotilla.

Morale onboard the ships was high, Qashoo said. "It's the best cruise you could ever take. People are singing and laughing."

The flotilla consists of six boats. Two of them developed mechanical problems.

One has been repaired and will be a part of the convoy. The other will head to Gaza next week.

The flotilla is expected to arrive near Gaza at about 9 a.m. Monday (2 a.m. ET), according to the Free Gaza Movement website.

The boats left European ports in a consolidated protest organized by two pro-Palestinian groups to deliver tons of food and other aid to Gaza to break a blockade imposed by Israel in 2007.

The Israeli government said Thursday it would stop the convoy, and that the Israeli Defense Force has been given instructions to reroute the flotilla to Israel's Ashdod port, where the supplies would be unloaded and transferred to Gaza. The activists remain adamant that they are headed to Gaza.

On Thursday, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev called the flotilla "a cheap political stunt."

"We barely notice the Israeli threat," Qashoo said Sunday. "What we are doing is saying 'no' to beseiging people for years ... If the price of doing this is prison, let it be, and if the price is success, let it be."

He said participants are prepared - some have written their wills, while others are in contact with family and friends. As of Sunday afternoon, he said, no Israeli ships or aircraft could be seen.

Flotilla participants said in a statement they plan to hold a memorial service on Sunday for U.S. soldiers killed in a 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in the eastern Mediterranean. Thirty-four American soldiers died and 173 were injured. Read full story...

Filed under: Gaza •Israel •Palestinians

Share this on:
PINAR   May 30th, 2010 4:40 pm ET

Why is CNN towing the israeli line of labeling every one that helps end gaza genocide terrorist.

miriam   May 30th, 2010 6:41 pm ET

Why is CNN falling foul of the media provocation being exercised by a group of anti-semitic, anti-zionist, anti-Israel political activists posing as humanitarians?

Hundreds of trucks of aid passes into Gaza from Israel every week, well in excess of what is required under international law. There is no humanitarian disaster and Israel will not allow one to develop.

Humanitarian aid is usually dispatched as quickly as possible rather than following months of political planning.

Israel has offered to deliver the aid through the regular channels after security checks, an offer rejected by the provocateurs whose real aim is to bring more unnecessary bad media coverage of Israeli legal actions with no concern for the residents of Gaza.

Further proof of their political motives is the memorial for soldiers killed in a proven friendly fire incident during a war , frequently distorted by anti-zionists who describe it as a deliberate attack.

Not to mantion their flat refusal to Gilad Shalit's family to take even a letter to their son who has had no humanitarian or other visits for 4 years.

miriam   May 30th, 2010 7:19 pm ET

It is fortunate that there is 24/7 TV coverage of the flotilla.

What do the chants heard today reminding the Jews of the massacre at Khaybar have to do with an humanitarian mission to Gaza?

proud zionist   May 30th, 2010 8:47 pm ET

typical CNN to leave out the fact that the fltilla includes convicted terrorists, like archbishop Capucci, who was caught using his immunity for smuggling arms in the trunk of his car. Cnn leaves out the fact that an arab member of the israeli parliament is on one of the ships, foulmouthing the very state in which parliament she sits. let an arab parlamentarian, say in iran or syria try the same stunt. what will happen? and finally CNN leaves out the fact that the "humanitaian" protesters were asked to transmit a letter to Gilead Shalit and, in a typical humanitarian gesture, they refused flat out.

Yajlani M   May 30th, 2010 9:34 pm ET

As I am writing this, the flotilla is still in INTERNATIONAL waters, 90 miles from the coast of Gaza, however, is being threatened by 2-3 Israeli military ships !!!! The flotilla is 100% peaceful and humanitarian, carrying essential materials for the 1.5 millions under Israeli siege for several years, however, Israel wants to prevent it from reaching Gaza. Why? The flotilla is also carrying large number of European and Asian MPs and officials, academics, artists, and professionals. Why does Israel wants to continue it's collective punishment against an entire peacful population . Israel is breaking the international laws again and committing over and over again another crime against humanity and finally getting away with it. Let me ask this to the UN and US government, Israelis are too arrogant to realize that the world has changed. It's your responsibility to stop babying them for ever, time is not in your or their favor any longer.

Francis Dec   May 30th, 2010 10:31 pm ET

An anniversary approaches. June 8,1967 Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty. 34 killed,171 wounded. Israel said it was a case of mistaken identity. I guess the huge American flag and large freshly painted lettering on the ship confused them.

joe   May 30th, 2010 11:27 pm ET

Blow them out of the water.

kh   May 31st, 2010 2:26 am ET

Israelis boarded Turkish ship, many international humanitarians critically wounded (1 possibly dead). Livestream from the ship:

Goanri   May 31st, 2010 2:32 am ET

They "plan to hold a memorial service on Sunday for U.S. soldiers killed in a 1967." What is the hurry, Wait another 37 years and you can have the centinal memorial. Is this a "flotilla of compassion"? or "flotilla of spreading hate"?!

Goanri   May 31st, 2010 2:44 am ET

"They plan to hold a memorial service on Sunday for U.S. soldiers killed in a 1967" Is this a 'flotilla of comapassion or flotila of hate"?! What is the hurry? They could wait 37 more years and hold the centenial memorial.

Anna   May 31st, 2010 3:55 am ET

Why hasn't CNN reported on the fact that Israel attacked the flotilla! What has this world come to? We attack HUMANITARIANS that are trying to deliver aid to Gaza. Whether or not you are a pro Palestine, Pro Israel person, we can all agree that the aid that Israel delivers to Gaza is not enough! Even the UN has reported that the aid that is delivered is less than a quarter of what is needed. Please start working on the story CNN. Keep the people informed.

Smith in Oregon   May 31st, 2010 6:36 am ET

I heard 30 wounded, 2 dead on the flotilla lead ship from Turkey. Seems the only people with guns were the Israeli commando's that open fired on a unarmed convoy of peaceful protesters carrying nothing but food supplies for Gaza residents.

Seems rather jack boot to me. Why the heavy handed open fire targeting the bridge of the vessels with machine gun fire and then board the vessels? Sounds exactly the same as a page from the Somali Pirates playbook.

Why open fire prior to boarding a vessel even under the guise of searching the vessel? The passengers were unarmed, the vessel unarmed and certainly couldn't be confused as a warship?

aysegul   May 31st, 2010 7:10 am ET

1. turkish people not arabs.
2. every turkish people don't support gazza organizatio.because most of the Turks hate arabs.i'm sure if someone attack turkish people,arabs don't care.why we,turkish people, must care about them.

hol   May 31st, 2010 8:00 am ET

The incident happened about 40 miles (64 km) out to sea, in international waters.

KR   May 31st, 2010 8:25 am ET

Typical Isreal, everyone is a terrorist who dont follow isreal's wish.

According to international LAWS, they have NO right to stop them, and NO right to impose the idea that all aid goes through ISreal.

I bet if the U.S. colonize in the 1700s were ruled by Isreal, George Washington would be the number one terrorist.

KR   May 31st, 2010 8:26 am ET

Notice they attacked them in international water. Boy they were in a hurry.

miriam   May 31st, 2010 11:19 am ET


which international law do you follow?

That of fantasy?

Under international law, Israel has all the rights to defend her citizens against the terrorist government in Gaza.

Under international maritime law, any nation can exercise jurisdiction in international waters when a ship is involved in criminal acts.
Look around the world at the number of nations involved in such activities.

Fred Brun   May 31st, 2010 3:41 pm ET

You make up International Law as you go along, as usual.
U.S. soldiers were killed as you claim in a friendly fire incident in a 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in the eastern Mediterranean. Thirty-four American soldiers died and 173 were injured. Israeli propaganda only projects this nonsense.
Below actual facts:
“Israel attacked the USS Liberty using UNMARKED AIRCRAFT. This is the single fact which proves Israel knew exactly who they were attacking. Israel's story is that they thought USS Liberty was an Egyptian ship and therefore a legitimate target of war. Were that true, there would be no reason to attack a supposedly Egyptian ship with unmarked aircraft. The only possible reason to use unmarked aircraft to attack the ship is that Israel knew it was an American ship and intended to sink it, then to blame the attack on Egypt.
US Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, who as top legal counsel to the official investigation is in a position to know, agrees that Israel intended to sink the USS Liberty and blame Egypt for it, thus dragging the United States into a war on Israel's behalf. This seems to be a common trick of Israel. Starting with the Lavon affair, through the USS Liberty, to the fake radio transmitter that tricked Reagan into attacking Libya, Israel's game is to frame Arabs and set them up as targets for the United States.

The official US investigation is discredited. And with it, every claim of innocence for Israel that relied on the official investigation as a source.
The real question facing the American people is why the US Government seems more concerned with protecting Israel after they are caught playing these dirty tricks, rather than doing something to convince Israel not to kill any more Americans.”

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was attacked by al-Qaeda in the Yemeni port of Aden.
Seventeen sailors were killed and thirty-nine others were injured in the blast.
In 2009, US federal judge Kimba Wood released $13.4 million in frozen assets belonging to Sudan to be awarded to 33 spouses, parents, and children of the sailors killed in the attack. Previously, the court had found Sudan culpable in facilitating the attack on the destroyer. Said John Coldfelter, father of Kenneth Coldfelter who was killed in the bombing, "It's about time something was done. It's taken so much more time than we thought it should take."
The US continuous to pursue people involved in this incidence. Why not pursue the criminals who perpetrated the heinous attack on the USS Liberty ??????

Bruce   May 31st, 2010 4:53 pm ET

The government of Israel, aided by many quarters of the international media, is attempting to spin today’s deadly IDF assault on a humanitarian aid ship carrying supplies to Gaza as the fault of the murdered activists on board the vessel, ludicrously characterizing machine-gun carrying Israeli troops who killed over a dozen innocent people as the victims of the incident.

“Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a press conference on Monday that while he was sorry for lives lost, the organizers of the Gaza-bound protest flotilla were solely responsible for the outcome of the fatal IDF raid earlier in the day,” reports the Jerusalem Post.

Elsewhere, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his “full backing” to the Israeli military and Israeli Navy commander Vice-Admiral Eliezer Marom commended the “bravery” of the IDF commandoes who slaughtered innocent people who were attempting to take food and supplies to the Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli blockade for the last three years, a situation humanitarian groups have labeled “collective punishment,” a throwback to how the Nazis brutalized entire cities of people in retaliation to attacks against them by resistance groups.

In addition, a video released by Israeli authorities is circulating on You Tube entitled, Demonstrators Use Violence Against Israeli Navy Soldiers Attempting to Board Ship, which ludicrously claims to show activists attacking troops unprovoked, without mentioning the fact that troops aggressively boarded the vessel outside of Israeli territory with the aid of army helicopters and heavily armed IDF soldiers before the activists did anything. In reality, the video shows very little because it is shot from a perspective where the people on board look like ants and almost nothing can be deciphered from this. Comments were disabled on the video to prevent people from making this criticism.

The video “helpfully explain[s] what you’re supposed to see,” writes one Israeli journalist.

“And, of course, the clip only contains the footage the IDF wanted to release; we don’t know what happened before or after this 60 seconds of video,” reports Al Jazeera.

The tone of Israel’s propaganda, that it was peace activists armed with nothing more than sticks and molotov cocktails who were responsible for the violence, and not heavily armed commando fighters backed up by helicopter gunships who in fact slaughtered at least 19 of the peace activists, is being cautiously parroted by some elements of the U.S. media.


Israel: IDF Troops Who Murdered Innocent People Are Brave Heroes 150410banner1

One only has to look at the nature of the death toll to understand who was responsible for this brutal attack.

At least 19 people, and this figure is rising by the hour, were killed during the attack, with dozens more injured. Not one of those 19 victims is an IDF soldier, every single one is a Palestinian activist. If the activists on board the ship had planned to attack the soldiers, you might at least expect them to have claimed one fatality – but this wasn’t an attack by activists, it was a brutal assault by armed men with machine guns who violated international law and committed a despicable war crime before calling the monsters who carried it out brave heroes.

The Palestinian territories are controlled by Hamas, a group who legitimately won power in a democratic election. The ships were not therefore “seized” by Hamas as is being implied, the Hamas government controlled the ships because they won the election and it is their job to provide food and aid to their people.

Crucially, the attack took place in international waters, not inside Israeli territory. Israel had no right to board the ship under any legal definition.

As Mike Rivero at WhatReallyHappened explains, “Israel has no legal authority over the ships of other nations in international waters. Israel may not issue orders to foreign flagged ships in international waters. Ships are considered sovereign territory of the nations whose flags they fly. Setting foot on one without the permission of the captain is technically an act of war.

“The aid convoy did not “attack” the IDF. The aid convoy, being in international waters, attempted to defend themselves from an act of piracy by a nation with no legal authority over those ships.”

With Israel’s attack being condemned globally by every nation on the planet besides the U.S. and Britain, and being savaged by every media outlet besides the ever-compliant U.S. establishment press, attempts to lay the blame on the very activists who were killed while lauding their murderers as heroes will only crystallize the fact that Israel, alongside Britain and America and the globalists who control all three countries, are nothing less than the new Nazis and represent the biggest threat by far to international security and the sanctity of the rule of law.

Angel   May 31st, 2010 5:16 pm ET

Even the Nazis never attacked the red cross.

Unbelievably the mercy boat Israel attacked had a holocaust survivor onboard.

Now the Zionists are even attacking holocaust survivors.

Zionism should be illegal just as Nazism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

m.gibson   May 31st, 2010 5:18 pm ET

This is despicable. It’s humanitarian aid for f sakes. The US needs to cut those monsters off, now. Hopefully all keep calm and don’t get suckered into their game.

Filippe   May 31st, 2010 5:19 pm ET

Some one remind me again of why our government gives such overwhelming support to the terrorist state of Israel. Could it be because they have somehow gained a stragle hold over our goverment? What is Israel trying to do, starve the Palistinians to death? This is going to be a public relations disaster for Israel. Maybe it will open more peoples eyes.

Ariely   May 31st, 2010 5:21 pm ET

The boats were in International waters and had every right to defend themselves, even if was only with poles and knives. This argument doen’t pull any weight whatsoever. I wish the media would stop stating this as and protecting Israel.
The IDF had no business on these boats, just like they had no business in Dubai with fake passports..
Israel have broken international laws and they need to be stopped.
I’m disgusted and I will carry on boycotting their products.

Brian   May 31st, 2010 5:22 pm ET

If Israel does not want to sign the desarmament of nuclear technology, it shows they evil intentions for war.

The leaders of israel that are for war must be takien out of power by their own people. Vote them out of power before they get this planet killed completely.

Samantha   May 31st, 2010 5:24 pm ET

Terror and warfare of the United States and Israel. This humanitarian action was a case to see how Israel would behave. They behaved as could be predicted. Israel is a country in deep trouble where it acts like this. Israel could have chosen also a very different approach. Killing in this situation is also a statement. And that statement should worry and wake up the entire world.

It is just godforsaken. And nations who are acting like this put themselves in a godforsaken state. It is is hopeless and nations like this are making themselves hopeless. So be it. Never call me anti jew. The conduct of Israel by the way backed by the US and Europe is just not right. It is just very much not right.

It’s all about money and about the power of money. We sacrifice and ignore universal values. And for that we are loosing our self respect and dignity.

Reagan   May 31st, 2010 5:26 pm ET

The only thing that will slow these Israeli criminals down is to boycott them, give them no money, sell them no guns, close down their embassies and freeze financial transactions with them.

Claire   May 31st, 2010 5:29 pm ET

It will be interesting to see how the Zionists in the US & UK Governments spin this.

This was an act of Piracy and murder in international waters. Boycott Israel.

Maik   May 31st, 2010 5:36 pm ET

To hell with any one who defends the criminal savage state of Israel.

Zion.u.s   May 31st, 2010 5:41 pm ET

The Zionists rule the U.S. as well as Israel. I wonder what spin Washington will put on this unexcusable action.

Mary   May 31st, 2010 5:43 pm ET

Its ironic that the very people who survived the Holocaust have turned themselves in to a form of Nazis. Down with the Synagogue of Satan.

Keith   May 31st, 2010 5:51 pm ET

Get AIPAC maggot influence out of DC. The silent majority are tired of fighting and dying in the AIPAC sponsored wars and endlessly going into debt to international zion parasite bankers. Why are parasites the most numerous life form on the planet? Ask Israel and the Rothschilds.

Tommy   May 31st, 2010 5:53 pm ET

Can you get any lower than attacking a fleet that is carrying humanitarian aid?

Sasha   May 31st, 2010 5:57 pm ET

Bloodthirsty Israeli Massacre – International Waters
Lets call it USS Liberty Reloaded, anniversary addition massacre. Part of Israels greatest killing collection.

isrealisacrime   May 31st, 2010 5:58 pm ET

CNN/AOL is spinning this as the ship passengers “attacked” the Israeli dragoons with forks or some such nonsense.

John A   May 31st, 2010 6:03 pm ET

Proud Zionist you are a sick . There was a holocaust survivor on the boat Israel attacked. Anyone who supports Israel supports murder. Anyone who denies this, denies fact!!

miriam   June 1st, 2010 12:03 pm ET

John A,

The "Holocaust survivor" Hedy Epstein, who in fact left Europe before WW1, and is much a survivor as every other Jew, was not on any of the boats.

This, along with all your other myths and those of the other comments here, are just that and reveal only hate and disinformation.

miriam   June 1st, 2010 1:13 pm ET

Sorry, WW2.

earle,florida   June 2nd, 2010 1:34 am ET

Newsflash : soon there will be , "Three of the Nine (9 total) US Supreme Court (33%) Justices" sitting on the bench of Jewish Ashkenazi descent. {Note: Population percentage of ," Jewish Ashkenazi Heritage Citizenship"~ 2%?} President Obama's top two aides Emanuel ,and Axelrod are Ashkenasi (100%) Jews! There happens too be , "Fourteen (14) Jewish" US Senators (100 total) respectively 14% versus 2% population? The "US House of (335 total) Representatives" has forty-three (43) Ashkenazi Jews ~14% versus 2% jewish poulation? So you wonder why CNN /MSNBC/FOX/, and PBS says nothing – here's a clue? They are all owned by the Jewish Media, who also own America's (Wall Street) Capitalist System "Lock, Stock, and Barrel"! Ironically filming ,while maming ,and killing innocent victims,...while simultaneously trying to convince the world as I write that Iran has weapons of "Mass Destruction"! Pathetic , just pathetic,...

miriam   June 2nd, 2010 2:33 pm ET


What's your problem?

And you'd claim you're not anti-semitic!

Perhaps, if most of the world, including the British in their Mandate, hadn't refused Jewish immigration after WW2 there would be fewer for you to abuse in the US.

earle,florida   June 2nd, 2010 8:06 pm ET

Correction: Total US Rep's (34) (2 year term) of 435 members equates to ~ 8%. Total US Senator's (15) (6 year term) of 100 members equates to 15%. Drum Roll please – the biggy: US Supreme Court Justices are a "Lifetime Posion" ! Total US Jewish population ~1.75% of 320ml citizens. The facts just don't lie? Thanks IME PS. I failed to mention publications eg.) periodicals etc., such as Newsweek,Time,WSJ,Washington Post, Economist ,Bloomberg,AP, etc.etc.,....

Kim Ferrandi   June 2nd, 2010 8:51 pm ET

Greta Berlin founder of the Free Gaza Movement said before the flotiila ship left for Gaza this;" this isn't about delivering humanitarian aid this is about breaking Israel's siege"

John A   June 3rd, 2010 8:41 am ET

Good for Greta, the Israeli siege is illegal and the Americas political leaders don't care because the get bribed with AIPAC money. Good to see the west have tired of their corrupt leaders and now take this matter into their own hands.
Go Greta! Break the illegal siege and expose Israel for the murdering cowards that they are.

miriam   June 3rd, 2010 5:30 pm ET

John A,

The blockade is legal under international law.

It might not appear 'nice' but is absolutely justified when Israel is under attack from Gaza.
Having your citizens blown-up by suicide bombers in public places and rockets landing in their schools and bedrooms isn't 'nice' either, nor is the Hamas Charter calling for your destruction.

US leaders agree with AIPAC because they share the same values, not because of bribery Your accusations of bribery should be reserved for the Saudi oil lobby.

Nc   June 3rd, 2010 5:46 pm ET

i started to doubt that the presidents of the Arab countries are men ...actually they aren't.......

Harvey   June 9th, 2010 3:58 pm ET

The Hamas charter states "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it" and "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."
Now tell my Israelis are so fearful of hamas?.

John A   June 27th, 2010 11:26 am ET

Harvey you are so far of the mark that your radical Israeli propaganda just looks silly. Everyone except you knows that Hamas offered to accept Israel and live side by side, if Israel would end its illegal and bloody military occupation.

Israel will not end its illegal military occupation and hence the problem goes on. What do you want Hamas to do? Role over while Israel robs the land and resources. There are two reasons Hamas has been labeled terrorists:
1. Because they don't have a real army or a state of their own (remember their state was robbed by Israel). If Hamas had a state their fighters would be recognized like everyone else's i.e. defense army.
2. The second reason Hamas is labeled terrorists is because America seeks indefinite war in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan to control oil flows, opium flows and minerals. Giving Muslims a bad name helps America to continue bogus wars and control regions.

American propaganda is not confined to the Middle East. Look at Americas own history and it is full of lies eg
Americans claim their civil war was to cleanse the nation of slavery. This is a huge lie. The civil war started when the north applied extra taxes to the south. Under the constitution the southern states had the right to separate from the north, but the north wouldn't accept southern rights under the constitution.
The American civil war was between 1861–1865. Was it to free slaves hahaha no way! Only 10 years after the civil war, gold was discovered in the Sioux Indian holy grounds. The Yanks then decided that the Sioux had to move again (Yanks broke every treaty with the Sioux). This led to the Indian wars and the little big horn was a US attempt to kick the Sioux of their land. So where was the end of slavery and racial supremacy????? The Sioux were treaty as third class citizens.

The only reason the North claimed it was against slavery was because most slaves were in the south, so this would weaken southern states powerful economy. It was all about power and economics and nothing to do with right and wrong. This is just a small example of how we in the west get taught all soughts of lies in our history.

Today the big lie is about Muslims and no doubt in 100 years the big lie will be about another group, who just happen to hold valuable economic resources. The USA which now acts as Israels protector has always been about violence and money. When the violence ends the history is written and the USA writes all the lies it can to justify violence and greed. Funny how after the civil war the slaves never won the vote for another 100 years. People without representation remain slaves as the laws are written against them.

My advise to Harvey is to get some books and learn for yourself. If you continue to swallow all the US media & hollywood lies, then history will remember you as a half wit.

takis   September 23rd, 2010 1:00 pm ET

in 1967 the uss Liberty under the direct control of LBJ send the ship 12 miles in the sea near the israeli border not toofar from thew egyptian border israeli olanes blocked ALL the liberty's frequencies ATTACKED THEIR ATTENAS N THEN TRIED TO SINK THESHIP dead in the water the BBC's also the Gathering strom avenge the Liberty survivors own story while the attack was on going LBJ ordered the us fighters Launched in response to an sos on an emergency frequency israel didn't blockto return saying i want tht god damp ship to the bottom! same time he launched ue jets with nukes to obliterate Cairo on the pretex they attacked the ship not israel US politics STINGS pitty Most americans are in the dark or it be a revolution by the morning

subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

This blog has now been archived and commenting has been switched off. Visit the Inside the Middle East site for news, views and video from across the region.

Read more about CNN's special reports policy