Thursday, October 21, 2010

Turkish Support For Gaza Flotilla--And Plans For Resistance--Found On Confiscated Computer

Of course, as Haaretz reports, Turkey denies offering assistance to Gaza flotilla organizers
Records of the meeting between the heads of the flotilla two weeks prior to embarkation and other similar documents were found on laptop computers confiscated by the Israel Defense Forces.

Data found on a laptop of a passenger of last May’s Gaza bound flotilla indicates that the flotilla’s organizers received assistance from the highest levels of the Turkish government, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Edogan and other senior government officials.

Records of the meeting between the heads of the six groups behind the flotilla, in Istanbul, two weeks prior to embarkation and other similar documents were found on laptop computers confiscated by the Israel Defense Forces following the takeover of the flotilla.

The documents suggest long-term and detailed preparations by the organizers, months in advance, including readying for various scenarios, including the landing of commandos on the ships using ropes from helicopters.

The Turkish government denies offering any assistance to the flotilla’s organizers.
This naturally raises the question that if indeed the members of the Mavi Marmara were "readying for various scenarios,"--including the landing of commandos--shouldn't they have issued a memo not to bring the plans along?

However, the documents were found on the computer of one of the journalists on board, as opposed to one of the terrorist-associated IHH operatives.

The most significant document of the batch, which sheds light on the role of the government of Turkey, was found on the laptop of a Polish journalist, Ewa Jasiwicz, who is a member of the Free Gaza Movement, part of the coalition of groups that took part in the flotilla. The document is a record of a meeting held in Istanbul on 16 May, and participants were the heads of the organizations involved and the captains of the vessels.

Dror Feiler, a former Israeli who lives in Sweden and who participated in the meeting and was on the flotilla, confirmed to Haaretz details of the meeting and the context in which the statements were made. Jasiwicz was not available for comment.
From the details of the briefing, Turkey was not the only government approached for support:
“Turkey − A. Government did not announce openly support for the mission at first; but [in the] last few days, [we have been] getting direct support from PM and other ministers. During [face to face] discussions, [they] openly said that if we have any difficulties, gov[ernment] will extend what support they can”

“Sweden − A. Gov[ernment] not taking supporting position. Trying to have meetings with foreign minister and defense minister. Hiding behind EU, saying they can’t act alone. B. Have support from different parties plus Church of Sweden.”

“Cyprus − A. Position is that they will do what is legal. B. According to European classifications/law, Gaza is not an official port; it is local fishermen’s port.”
About the strategies that were discussed for how to respond to Israeli contact with the ship:
Various scenarios were discussed: In the case shots were fired, simply as a challenge or a warning, they were to carry on and at the same time work through the media and politically. If the firing was targeted, they were to stop and evaluate the situation.

The captains would decide what to do, taking into consideration matters of safety. If the ship was being towed, the passengers would embark onto a different vessel.

In case the path was blocked, they were to advance until they were physically stopped. As for defending the ships, the participants said that there was not much to be done.

...“In order to prevent landing from the air, sharp obstacles must be put on the deck, making the landing too dangerous. If the soldiers do land, we will focus on the bridge, which will require replacing the windows with bulletproof windows, and the doors with steel doors.”
But that's OK, no need to bother the UN Human Rights Council with any of this.
They're busy looking for new excuses to condemn Israel

On the other hand, maybe now Israel can demand an apology from Turkey...

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