Mavi Marmara Attacked, 16 Died - BigDogDotCom (31/5/10) PDF Print E-mail   
Monday, 31 May 2010 16:41

Freedom Flotilla which sailed from Turkey carrying activists, aid workers and basic aid for the war stricken Gazans was attacked by Israeli Defense Forces this morning. IDF gunships opened fire on the non combattant liner which houses 800 activists and aid workers ranging from 1 year old to 80 year before full battle fatigue Israeli commandos boarded Mavi Marmara in open international waters. report on this. No other communications received after Israeli commandos boarded the ship.

Unconfirmed reports stated that Israeli Defense Forces commandos already seized control of six vessels under the Freedom Flotilla mission. The attack on MV Mavi Marmara is thought to be at a location 65km of the coast of Gaza. Official Israeli statement stated that “The Freedom Flotilla violated naval blockade on Gazan coast”.

Since last week, Israeli and New Con Jewish controlled media have been hyping the news that Israeli Defense Forces would attempt to stop any aid mission directly to Gaza, for their excuse that aids would ehance position of Hamas thus further threaten Jews and State of Israel. Any attempt to reach Gaza would be intercepted and diverted to Israeli port of Ashdod where the activists either deported back to their home nation or face trial and jail in an Israeli prison.

Perdana Global Peace Organisation President Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad would be calling for a media conference on the brutal attack at his office in Perdana Leadership Foundation, Precinct 8, Putrajaya at 400pm.

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Two Malaysians On Board Aid Ship Attacked By Israeli Warship - The Star (31/5/10) PDF Print E-mail
The Star   
Monday, 31 May 2010 16:35

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are on board one of the convoy of six ships carrying aid to blockaded Gaza that was attacked by an Israeli warship on Monday, killing 15 people and injuring many more.

The two Malaysians are journalist Ashwad Ismail and cameraman Shamsul Kamal Latip from Astro Awani, who are on board the lead Turkish ship Mavi Marmara that was boarded by Israeli commandos.

It is still uncertain if the Malaysians are among the dead or injured, said a senior Astro Awani source.

"We were on satellite phone contact but have not been in touch since last evening," he said, adding that they were trying desperately to establish contact.

Six other Malaysians, lawyer Matthias Chang, journalist Shamsul Akmar, Parit MP Nizar Zakaria, activist Ahmad Faizal Azumu, TV 3 crew members Halim Mohamed and Jufri Junid, who are on another ship Rachel Corrie coming from Cyprus, were safe, according to a statement by NGO Perdana Global Peace Organisation.

Another NGO, Lifeline 4 Gaza, that coordinated the aid from Malaysia plans to give a press conference at 3pm in Hotel De Palma, Seksyen 19, Shah Alam.

Reports say that Israeli navy seals boarded the ship and faced violent resistance from pro-Palestinian activists on board.

The flottilla is under the coordination of the Free Gaza Movement, numerous human rights organizations, including the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza, and the Swedish and Greek Boat to Gaza initiatives.

The passengers include members of Parliament from around the world, U.N., human rights and trade union activists, as well as journalists sent to document the largest coordinated effort to directly confront Israel’s blockade of Gaza and take in basic supplies.

Situation updates:

* EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels demands Israeli authorities mount a "full inquiry" into the deaths during the raid.

* The bloody ending to the high-profile mission to deliver supplies to Gaza comes on the eve of a meeting in Washington between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

* Israeli army says more than 10 killed and dozens wounded, both soldiers and activists, and it is evacuating the casualties from the Mediterranean by helicopter.

* Turkey's foreign ministry warns that the attack may lead to "irreparable consequences" in bilateral ties with Israel.

* Israel on Monday expresses its "sorrow" over those killed when Israeli navy seals stormed an aid convoy destined for the Gaza Strip: Israeli Industry and Trade Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer

* Israel's military censor jams the reporting of any information about casualties being transferred to Israeli hospitals.

* Turkish police block dozens of stone-throwing protesters who try to storm the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul over reports of the Israeli attack.

Earlier, AP quoted an al-Jazeera satellite channel reporting by telephone from the Turkish ship leading the flotilla that Israeli navy forces had fired at the ship and boarded it, wounding the captain.

The Turkish NTV network also reported an Israeli takeover with gunfire, and at least two people were killed.

The al-Jazeera broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, "Everybody shut up!"

The reports came just after daybreak, with the flotilla still well away from the Gaza shore. Israel had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza.

The head of the Gaza Hamas government, Ismail Haniyeh, condemned the "brutal" Israeli attack.

"We call on the Secretary-General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza," Haniyeh told The Associated Press.

On Sunday, Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers, said the six-ship flotilla began the journey from international waters off the coast of Cyprus on Sunday afternoon after two days of delays.

She said they expected to reach Gaza, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) away, on Monday afternoon, and that two more ships would follow in "a second wave."

The flotilla was "fully prepared for the different scenarios" that might arise, and organizers were hopeful that Israeli authorities would "do what's right" and not stop the convoy, she said.

"We fully intend to go to Gaza regardless of any intimidation or threats of violence against us," she said. "They are going to have to forcefully stop us."

After nightfall Sunday, three Israeli navy missile boats left their base in Haifa, steaming out to sea to confront the activists' ships.

Two hours later, Israel Radio broadcast a recording of one of the missile boats warning the flotilla not to approach Gaza.

"If you ignore this order and enter the blockaded area, the Israeli navy will be forced to take all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade," the radio message continued.

The al-Jazeera satellite channel reported that the ships changed course to try to avoid a nighttime confrontation, preferring a daylight showdown for better publicity.

The flotilla, which includes three cargo ships and three passenger ships, is trying to draw attention to Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The boats are carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials. The activists said they also were carrying hundreds of electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that after a security check, permitted humanitarian aid confiscated from the boats will be transferred to Gaza through authorized channels.

However, Israel would not transfer items it has banned from Gaza under its blockade rules. Palmor said that for example, cement would be allowed only if it is tied to a specific project.

This is the ninth time that the Free Gaza movement has tried to ship in humanitarian aid to Gaza since August 2008.

Israel has let ships through five times, but has blocked them from entering Gaza waters since a three-week military offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers in January 2009. The flotilla bound for Gaza is the largest to date.

Some 700 pro-Palestinian activists are on the boats, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and an elderly Holocaust survivor.

The mission has experienced repeated delays, both due to mechanical problems and a decision by Cyprus to bar any boat from sailing from its shore to Gaza.

The ban forced a group of European lawmakers to depart from the breakaway Turkish Cypriot northern part of the island late Saturday.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade on Gaza after Hamas militants violently seized control of the seaside territory in June 2007.

Israel says the measures are needed to prevent Hamas, which has fired thousands of rockets at Israel, from building up its arsenal.

But U.N. officials and international aid groups say the blockade has been counterproductive, failing to weaken the Islamic militant group while devastating the local economy.

In particular, the ban on building materials has prevented Gazans from repairing thousands of homes that were damaged or destroyed in an Israeli military offensive, meant to stop Hamas rocket attacks, early last year.

Israel rejects claims of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, saying it allows more than enough food and medicine into the territory.

The Israelis also point to the bustling smuggling industry along Gaza's southern border with Egypt, which has managed to bring consumer goods, gasoline and livestock into the seaside strip.

Israel has condemned the flotilla as a provocation and vowed to block it from reaching Gaza.

Palmor said foreigners on the ships would be "sent back to their countries." Activists who did not willingly agree to be deported would be detained. A special detention facility has been set up in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.

At Gaza's tiny port, meant for small fishing boats, Hamas officials, activists and foreign nationals prepared to welcome the flotilla, sitting in some 40 small boats that were bobbing in the sea and decorated with the flags of the countries of the pro-Palestinian activists, including Turkey and Algeria. - AP

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Israel Attacks Gaza Aid Fleet - Al Jazeera (31/5/10) PDF Print E-mail
Al Jazeera   
Monday, 31 May 2010 16:26

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza.

More than 10 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli military said.

The Israeli Army Radio had earlier said that up to 16 people had been killed.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

Footage from the flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

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Israeli Soldier On Board The IHH Ship - Press TV Reports 10 Have Been Killed - Perdana Global Peace Organisation (31/5/10) PDF Print E-mail
Perdana Global Peace Organisation   
Monday, 31 May 2010 16:01

For Immediate Release

Perdana Global Peace Organisation Delegation Safe

Kuala Lumpur, May 31 2010 – The Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) delegation on board the Rachel Corrie comprising Member of Parliament, Nizar Zakaria, PGPO members Shamsul Akmar, Matthias Chang and Ahmad Faizal Azumu as well as Halim Mohamed and Jufri Junid, two press members from TV3 are safe and are currently 1000 miles of the coast of Gaza.

The delegation has been informed of the brutal attacks on the Turkish vessel by the Israeli navy this morning where 10 people have been reported dead. The delegation will continue to proceed on their voyage and have given assurances that they will return to Cyprus if there are warnings by the Israeli navy to do so.

The Rachel Corrie which is carrying much needed humanitarian aid for Gaza also has on board Nobel Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire, former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday and documentary film maker Fiona Thompson. Two Free Gaza Movement representatives Derek Graham and Jenny Graham are also on board.

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U.S. Cyber Command: Waging War In the World's Fifth Battlespace - By Rick Rozoff, Global Research (29/5/10) PDF Print E-mail
By Rick Rozoff, Global Research   
Saturday, 29 May 2010 14:48

Global Research

On May 21 U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the activation of the Pentagon’s first computer command. And the world’s first comprehensive, multi-service military cyber operation.

U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), initially approved on June 23, 2009, attained the status of what the Pentagon calls initial operations capability eleven months afterward. It is to be fully operational later this year.

CYBERCOM is based at Fort Meade, Maryland, which also is home to the National Security Agency (NSA). The head of the NSA and the related Central Security Service is Keith Alexander, U.S. Army lieutenant general on the morning of May 21 but promoted to four-star general before the formal launching of Cyber Command later in the day so as to become its commander.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Alexander for his new position on May 7. In written testimony presented to Congress earlier, he stated that in addition to the defense of computer systems and networks, “the cyber command would be prepared to wage offensive operations as well...” [1] Two days before his confirmation the Associated Press reported that Alexander “said the U.S. is determined to lead the global effort to use computer technology to deter or defeat enemies.” [2] The conjunction “and” would serve the purpose better than “or.”

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Last Updated on Sunday, 30 May 2010 22:09
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