tagged w/ Blockade
The navy has been ordered to turn back two boats carrying 44 pro-Palestinian foreign activists who are attempting to "break the siege of Gaza," The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Officials said the navy had a number of options in dealing with the boats, which have set out from Crete, en route to Gaza, via a stop-over in Cyprus. The boats are due to approach the Strip in the second half of this week.
Israeli officials said Sunday that the Mediterranean waters around Gaza fell under Israeli sovereignty due to an agreement with the Palestinian Authority. Gaza has also been declared a combat zone, giving the navy the legal right to patrol the sea around the Strip, the officials said.
The officials dismissed the claim by the Free Gaza Movement organization, which organized the boats, that they were on a humanitarian journey. They said Hamas was keen to exploit the boats to undermine Israel's blockade of Gaza.
The boats are expected to pass from international waters into waters within Gaza territory, unload equipment and pick up Palestinians living in the Strip, before setting sail again. A confrontation was not expected as the activists have stated they were not seeking a standoff, the Israeli officials said.
Speaking from Cyprus last week, Free Gaza spokeswoman Gretta Berlin said the activists "do not intend to turn around" if confronted by the navy.
"Why should we turn around? Israel doesn't own that property. We have been invited by the people of Gaza," she said.
"We'll stand in line, link arms, and tell them they're not wanted," Berlin added.
Israeli officials did note that Gazan fishing boats had access to the waters.
The boat journey was largely a publicity stunt, the Israeli officials said, adding that its organizers were hungry for international and Israeli media attention. So far, the Israeli media had shown the most interest in the boats, the officials added.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Free Gaza Movement, Ramzi Kysia, has claimed that a member of the movement, Lauren Booth, received a threatening phone call at her home in France on Thursday.
"An anonymous man called my home in France as my daughters played hide and seek in the garden. This stranger spoke to my husband, warning him that 'your wife is in great danger. These ships will be blown up.' My husband asked how it was this person had obtained our private home number. No response was forthcoming, but the illicit threats carried on," Booth said in a message posted on the group's Web site.
The navy has been ordered to turn back two boats carrying 44 pro-Palestinian foreign... more
Congress has gone mad for sure. This resolution of a naval blockade against Iran could be considered an act of war.
Hello Americans. Call your congressman and tell them you don't want another war!Congress has gone mad for sure. This resolution of a naval blockade against Iran... more
Washington, DC — A House resolution effectively requiring a naval blockade on Iran seems fast tracked for passage, gaining co-sponsors at a remarkable speed, but experts say the measures called for in the resolutions amount to an act of war.
H.CON.RES 362 calls on the president to stop all shipments of refined petroleum products from reaching Iran. It also “demands” that the President impose “stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo entering or departing Iran.”
Analysts say that this would require a US naval blockade in the Strait of Hormuz.
Since its introduction three weeks ago, the resolution has attracted 134 cosponsors. Forty-three members added their names to the bill in the past two days.
In the Senate, a sister resolution S. RES 580 has gained cosponsors with similar speed. The Senate measure was introduced by Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh on June 2. In little more than a week’s time, it has accrued 15 cosponsors.
Congressional insiders credit America’s powerful pro-Israel lobby for the rapid endorsement of the bills. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its annual policy conference June 2-4, in which it sent thousands of members to Capitol Hill to push for tougher measures against Iran. On its website, AIPAC endorses the resolutions as a way to “stop Iran’s nuclear program” and tells readers to lobby Congress to pass the bill.
Proponents say the resolutions advocate constructive steps toward reducing the threat posed by Iran. “It is my hope that…this Congress will urge this and future administrations to lead the world in economically isolating Iran in real and substantial ways,” said Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), who is the original cosponsor of the House resolution.
Foreign policy analysts worry that such unilateral sanctions make it harder for the US to win the cooperation of the international community on a more effective multilateral effort. In his online blog, Senior Fellow in the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Ethan Chorin points out that some US allies seek the economic ties to Iran that these resolutions ban. “The Swiss have recently signed an MOU with Iran on gas imports; the Omanis are close to a firm deal (also) on gas imports from Iran; a limited-services joint Iranian-European bank just opened a branch on Kish Island,” he writes.
These resolutions could severely escalate US-Iran tensions, experts say. Recalling the perception of the naval blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the international norms classifying a naval blockade an act of war, critics argue endorsement of these bills would signal US intentions of war with Iran. Washington, DC — A House resolution effectively requiring a naval blockade on... more
"The French fishing dispute over rising fuel prices continues as fishermen ignore government calls to lift the blockade.
French fishermen ignored all calls made by the government to lift the blockades on ports and fuel depots, even though the administration had promised to provide the industry with 110 million euros in aid.
The fishermen claim that they will go out of business unless they can buy fuel at 40 cents a liter as opposed to the current market price of 80 cents, EuroNews reported.
The dispute is also spreading to other European countries. As the French disrupted fishing lanes and raided fish wholesalers, their Belgian counterparts came together in Zeebrugge to hand out free fish to the general public.
This resulted in hundreds of people gathering at the dockside to pick up their fresh plaice for free. This is while similar demonstrations were building up in Spain and Portugal.
The price of marine diesel has surged by 30 percent in the past four months."
Isn't it time the British got off their arses and took similar action about fuel prices or as usual do we just sit and whinge?!"The French fishing dispute over rising fuel prices continues as fishermen ignore... more