Israel Begins Deporting Flotilla Passengers, Including 11 Americans
June 2, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Amid widespread international condemnation in the wake of their botched raid on a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid ship, Israel began deporting hundreds of detained flotilla passengers on Wednesday, including 11 Americans. With at least nine dead civilians and dozens more wounded, Israel has some explaining to do. But the Jewish State dug in, defiantly defending its actions during the raid, saying the Israeli commandos were attacked by on board activists with ties to terror groups. And Israel continues to defend the use of force to protect its Gaza blockade, as the United States attempts to calm anger in the Arab world, while working with Israel to prevent another flotilla raid fiasco.
According to the Washington Post, White House officials huddled in meetings with members of the Israeli embassy to deal with the impending crisis, while preserving its ongoing Middle east peace initiatives and efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions:
“Israeli Ambassador Michael B. Oren and national security adviser Uzi Arad spent four hours in meetings Tuesday at the White House, including a session with James L. Jones, President Obama’s national security adviser. The meetings focused on how to contain the immediate diplomatic fallout from the raid, which has endangered the push for sanctions against Iran and peace efforts in the Middle East.”
The Obama administration is also trying to impress upon Israel, the folly in using force to defend a long-term blockade against the people of Gaza:
“The discussions also explored ways for future humanitarian deliveries to reach Gaza without jeopardizing Israel’s security, a White House official said. Behind the White House’s message was a sense within the administration that Israel’s approach toward upholding its blockade is unworkable over the long term, and the focus now is on preventing another deadly raid at sea.”
On Monday, the UN called for a “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent” investigation of the heavy-handed raid of an aid ship in international waters.
Another attempt to break Israel’s Gaza blockade is on its way in the coming days, with the humanitarian aid ship MV Rachel Corrie. The new ship is organized by the Free Gaza Movement.
On Monday, after the deadly raid, the Free Gaza Movement pledged it would keep sending ships in defiance of Israel’s blockade, until Gaza was free.
Photo Credit: Freegazaorg’s Photostream