Dueling UN Flotilla I Commissions - by Stephen Lendman
Two earlier articles discussed them in detail, accessed through the following links:
Last September, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), issued its damning findings on Israel's Flotilla I massacre, killing nine and wounding dozens of peaceful humanitarian activists heading for Gaza with aid.
As a result, HRC:
"concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation."
Under international law, Israel's blockade is illegal. Imposing it caused a grave humanitarian crisis, affecting nearly 1.7 million Gazans, mostly civilians. Aid is vitally needed. Blocking it is a crime against humanity. Moreover, Israel's international waters interdiction was piracy.
A "vessel on the high seas (posing no threat) is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of its flag State."
Under the laws of armed conflict, "a blockade is illegal if:
(a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
(b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade."
In other words, no blockade is permitted it it inflicts disproportionate harm to civilians. Israel has done it maliciously for over four years, collectively punishing Gazans illegally, despite admitting no security threat exists.
HRC said Israel's interdiction was lawless "since there was no legal basis for the Israeli forces to conduct an assault and interception in international waters." Moreover, in doing so, Israel was "obligated" under international law and its own "international human rights obligations."
HRC thus concluded that force used "was unnecessary, disproportionate, excessive, inappropriate and resulted in the wholly avoidable killing and maiming of a large number of civilian passengers."
Moreover, Israel made "a deliberate attempt....to suppress or destroy evidence," besides fabricating its own version of events, including fake videos and other falsified materials.