Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Legal Issue Update

The highly reputable Small Wars Journal posted a round-up this morning of analysis on the IDF flotilla raid. One of their linked blogs, Information Dissemination, posts a video of a flotilla activist stabbing an IDF commando:

Vis-a-vis the issue of international waters, the author says:

"Under international law, the consensus of the maritime attorney's [sic] I have spoken to is that the boarding operation by Israel was legal. The coast of Gaza has been under maritime blockade by Israel, a blockade that was well known - indeed running the maritime blockade for political purposes was the specific intent of the protesters. It is why the press had been reporting all week that the situation was likely leading towards a confrontation. Is anyone surprised that Israel had an established maritime blockade and enforced that maritime blockade? I'm certainly not, Israel made clear all week that the flotilla would not be allowed to pass.

The maritime blockade is a result of the war between Israel and Hamas. Ones political position on that ongoing war is completely irrelevant to the reality that the maritime blockade was established. Knowledge of the maritime blockade by the protesters is also not in debate, and neither is knowledge the flotilla intended to violate the blockade - they made this clear themselves in the press. Once the flotilla made it clear in the press they intended to run the maritime blockade, according to international law, and even US law, the flotilla was considered to be in breach by attempting to violate the blockade.

It was at that point the IDF had legal authority - under international maritime law governing maritime blockades during wartime - to board the vessels and prevent the vessels from running the blockade. Yes, this action may legally be taken in international waters if those waters are recognized as part of the area under the maritime blockade. It is important to note that the action took place within the zone that was publicly known to be part of the maritime blockade of Gaza, and part of that zone is in international waters."

One of many opinions no doubt, but worth considering nonetheless. And while the blog asserts the raid was legal, it also asserts that it was ill-advised.

No comments:

Post a Comment