Oh, and the Finnish state radio/television news station, YLE, reminds the public that nine Turkish IHH members were killed in a similar event 2 years ago, but fails to provide the necessary context, that they were heavily armed with steel clubs and chains and knives.
UPDATE: I just heard that there hasn’t been any word from the ship for an hour, no doubt the IDF has silenced its radio traffic, perhaps are even on board.
UPDATE II: YLE using outlandish headline: Israel is preparing to attack Estelle
The Estelle sailing ship, carrying relief supplies to Gaza, is now under attack, says the ship’s crew. According to Yle News Israeli forces are preparing for boarding the ship.
According to a crew member who answered the phone, he says the crew will start defending against the attackers.
Estelle is surrounded by a large number of rubber Israeli naval boats .
Apparently Dror Feiler, an ex-Israeli is the one saying that they are under attack and preparing to defend the vessel, this is from the Swedish activist site, Ships to Gaza. apparently it took place 17 Nautical Miles north of Arish, Egypt.
YLE changes its headline to: Israeli troops ready to board Estelle. (YLE does in fact monitor this blog).
UPDATE: III: Dror Feiler says that the ship’s crew will “defend their boat with their bodies” to Finnish YLE journalist via telephone interview.
An IDF spokesperson says: Ship intercepted, and on the way to Ashdod. So it’s bvious that Dror Feiler didn’t back up his tough sounding words, and meekly complied to the Israeli IDF’s instructions once they were aboard.
IDF blog has more here.
“Estelle-ship is stopped, even if it would require taking over the ship, said the Israeli Embassy Deputy Head of YLE News in an interview. The ship is in his opinion a political provocation.”
According to him, the ship’s crew aims to break the blockade of Gaza, even though the blockade is also at the UN level found to be lawful. Israel therefore duty bound by the international community’s to stop the ship’s journey, Donio-Gideon explains.
That was the ”activist welcoming committee” that greeted the IDF coming down the ropes from their helicopters above, armed with mere paintball guns. The IDF only became violent when they sought to protect their soldiers being savagely beaten to a pulp…..by the activists.
NOTE: YLE has been continuously misleading the public about what happened, this isn’t the first time. The Finnish government has told them not to expect any help from the Finnish state dept. and has warned them that the ship will be searched, and has not disputed the legitimacy of the arms embargo.
(A TT translation from the original Finnish article)
So far peaceful on the Estelle sailing ship heading to Gaza
YLE: The ship’s radar saw late Friday night unidentified ships. Finnish boatswain thinks that the ships were Egyptian patrol boats.
– During the beginning of the previous watch the Estelle was followed by a couple of unknown boats for some time. I would assume since then, that they have now been left behind, they would have been Egyptian patrol boats, which have a normal patrol operations, the ship’s boatswain Finnish Veli-Matti Koivisto told YLE news broadcast on Saturday night.
Captain of Estelle flying under the Finnish flag, Mika Jämiä, thought late Friday night that the vessels could have been Israeli ships.
According to Jämiä, Finland’s Foreign Ministry warned yesterday the Estelle on Friday that Israel has threatened to detain the ship in international waters.
– At the moment we do not have any companions. The situation is calm. Dark it is, but other than that it’s a laid-back atmosphere, Koivisto says.
According to him, Israel has not made any contact with the ship.
The ship was half past two in the morning about 80 miles from the Israeli coast. It is expected to arrive in Gaza on Saturday, today.
Estelle, owned by the Swedish Ship to Gaza organization aims to export, including hospital and construction materials to Gaza that’s besieged by Israel. There is also riding on the vessel, politicians and celebrities from different countries.
Two years ago, nine Turks were killed in a similar operation, when Israeli troops seized a Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara.
Last update for this post.
Even Finnish hard Leftist professor of international law, Martti Koskenniemi admits the legality of the blockade. This is such a slam dunk it isn’t even close.
Also, the International Academy of Law, Professor Martti Koskenniemi of the University of Helsinki, deems the blockade lawful on the basis that there is an armed conflict.
“Therefore, Israel must prevent vessels coming into Gaza. When it is taken up the blockade, it even has the obligation to prevent all third party ship access otherwise it will be guilty of discrimination. The blockade must not cause unacceptable harm to civilians.”