The group claimed responsibility for the rocket salvos, which came in response to the killing of five of its operatives who were gunned down by the IAF earlier on Saturday as they prepared to launch a Grad rocket at Israel. (link)
Which can also be read as:
We are shooting at you because you shot at us in order to prevent us from shooting at you.
Hit the link if the video embedded below does not work for you.
He had been working on a documentary about Mohammed Abu Muaileq, a Palestinian man who used to be part of the Abu Rish Brigades and would launch rockets against Israeli civilian populations, and later changed his mind about these tactics after befriending an Israeli over the Internet.
Abu Muaileq was accused of collaborating with Israel (death sentence) and asked Martin to testify. Martin flew to Gaza and was arrested on the spot. Obviously he made it out, but this was all but uncertain to him at the time.
He tried to show footage of his in-work documentary but there were several techinalc glitches (the ancient Windows XP laptop playing the clips ran out of battery). In spite of this, the talk was fascinating. I’m really looking forward to seeing a full documentary or reading a book once it is finished.
Richard Goldstone wrote an op-ed on the Washington Post called Reconsidering the Goldstone Resport on Israel and War Crimes. On it, there is no news: Israel is investing considerable resources investigating 400 or so allegations of misconduct from the report, while Hamas has done nothing of the sort – unsurprising since it was always clear that Hamas targeted civilians purposefully.
The sad part is that this editorial will not even get a fraction of the press that the original report received., but at least it’s being mentioned, even on Al-Jazeera. A lot of damage was done to Israel’s image because of the conclusions reached in the report and this retraction will not undo that. But you owe it to yourself to read the article on the Washington Post.
Israel deserves blame for what happened. They were not ready at all for the kind of violence encountered. Had they been properly prepared and equipped, the soldiers would not have been lowered one by one only to be lynched, and they would not have been put in a situation in which they were forced to protect themselves through force. It was a failure of logistics and of intelligence.
But the organizers of the flotilla deserve equal or greater blame, and this is not what I read in the press. A supposedly peaceful demonstration to bring humanitarian aid should not have members or terrorist organizations nor people who support violence against Israel on board. They should not have brutally attacked anyone. It was clear they were looking for a confrontation when Israel offered to transfer all aid cargo on the ships into Gaza as long as the flotilla agreed to first dock at the Israeli port of Ashdod for a weapons inspection before-hand… but it was not clear they were looking for such level of violent confrontation and blood.
Israel was clumsy, unprepared, and fell for a clear trap. The loss of life is regretful, and so is the lack of honesty with properly assigning the blame on the events. And remember, it’s not Israel who is impeding the lifting of the blockade in Gaza. It is Hamas who needs to meet the demands of the international community to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist. Once they do it, the blockade will be open.
But I don’t think anyone in that flotilla has the desire of reminding Hamas of that little fact.