BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Was Israel right to intercept the Rachel Corrie?

11:12 UK time, Saturday, 5 June 2010

Israel has deported seven activists who tried to sail an aid ship to Gaza in defiance of Israel's blockade. What is your reaction?

The Israeli military says soldiers boarded the Irish-owned MV Rachel Corrie from the sea and did not meet any resistance. Eleven campaigners and eight crew were detained.

The incident comes days after Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. Clashes on board left nine people dead, triggering international condemnation. Israel has blockaded Gaza since 2007, when the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the territory.

France has urged Israel to accept an international probe into the deaths of nine activists.

What is your reaction to this incident? Should Israel have boarded the MV Rachel Corrie? How should the international community respond? What impact will this have on Israel's blockade of Gaza? Should there be an international enquiry?

Previous debate: Was Israel right to board the Gaza flotilla?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


Page 1 of 28

  • Comment number 1.

    The big questions is whether they boarded the ship in international waters again. It makes a major difference to the legality of it or not.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Israel may be achieving its goal of blockading Gaza but it is portraing itself as a paranoid, ruthless nation lacking humanity.

  • Comment number 4.

    As a non-Jew or Israeli I have nothing but total admiration for the way they never apologise for defending their own citizens at all costs - something our own spinless UK politicans could learn a great deal from. Consequently the following facts should not be lost in the current rush to demonise the only true democracy in the region;

    1. The vessel concerned may have been in international waters but so were the Libyan vessels in the 1980s supplying the IRA. Should the Royal Navy have ignored boarding such vessles and using force to prevent such weapons being used against British civilians?
    2. Turkey has bared its true islamic affiliations for all of Europe to see. Were they to be admitted to the EU, do we really want 70 million of a similar mindset having influence over European foreign and social policy?

    Long Live Israel to whom we should give our unqualified support.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Israel were right to board an Irish ship ,trying to cause trouble by running a blockade, to bring aid to a terrorist group "HAMAS" who dont want peace in Palestine !!! only to kill innocent Israelies, The Israelies have given them many warnings over the past two weeks.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    We need international action on Israel. Let's start with an embargo!

  • Comment number 11.

    The elected government of Gaza is in a state of war with Israel. Israel experienced years of rocket attacks of an ever more sophisticated nature. This ship is carrying building materiels that could be used to make rockets and rocket launchers. It is inconceivable that any state would allow this to enter the enemy state. Much is made of the "starvation" in Gaza , yet watching any news report filmed there shows no sign of starving children. The Gazaens themselves destroyed the hothouses the Israeli settlers left behind when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the territory. I am just overjoyed that the captain of this ship obeyed the blockade and has allowed a peaceful takeover of his vessel. Much is made of the "elected" ie. democratic Hamas government, but few mention that once in power they murdered most of the Fatah opposition. So Mr Moderator I expect that you will reject this comment.
    BBC should not be afraid to publish facts !

  • Comment number 12.

    Of course they were - they were right to board the others aswell! I think its a joke the world wont open their eyes and look at the FACTS! Hamas are terrorists - simple as, and so of course Israel have to be careful what gets let in. As for the shootings, it is regrettable, but I for one if I was being hit with metal sticks and knives and I had a gun, of course I would use it! Everyone needs to stop joining the train without knowing the facts, just because its Israel. And Im glad to see how on the previous debate, there were at least half pro Israel!

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    I am beginning to wonder if there's much difference between the Somail pirates and the Israeli defence forces.

  • Comment number 15.

    A vast amount of aid enters Gaza through Israel every week.

    The Israeli government seeks to prevent certain materials entering Gaza, which might then be turned against them militarily, by checking shipments at the port of Ashdod before on-shipment.

    This policy has significantly slowed the rate of indiscriminate rocket attacks on southern Israel from within Gaza.

    On this basis, it is arguable that for their own self defence, Israel has an absolute right to police shipments into Gaza, and that the results speak for themselves.

    The organisers of the "aid flotilla" know full well the reasons for Israels reluctance to allow direct unpoliced shipments into Gaza, but seek to generate worldwide public condemnation of the Isaeli blockade, presumably to weaken Israel's resolve in this matter.

    Their motivation for breaking the blockade is unclear, but the fact that breaking it will facilitate the movement of unpermitted items into Gaza whilst not directly improving access to commodities which in the normal course of events enter freely through Ashdod in any case makes me suspect that the motive is not strictly peaceful.

    That, and the avowed intention voiced by some taking part in the flotilla to turn the exercise into a martyrdom event.

    On balance, I would say that the Israeli blockade has at least as much legitimacy as that which we imposed around the Falkland Islands in 1982, and which resulted in the Royal Navy sinking the General Belgrano, in this case without warning.

  • Comment number 16.

    The aid ships are a deliberate and planned provocation to 'shame' Israel? It may have been caused by Israel cutting costs to close so many ports for aid to Gaza in recent years after the shelling from Gaza?

    To 'shame' Israel to re-open more ports for aid could be helpful. However, both sides are so entrenched over so many generations and decades, there is no trust and no respect?

    So many countries; governments, aid agencies, charities, NGOs and billions of aid - and billions of hours to help these two countries to find a truce is very disturbing?

    Israeli companies employ many people from Gaza - would it not be better if Gaza joined with people from Israel and started their own business together? Yes, it's mad - but no more mad than now?

  • Comment number 17.

    No deaths or injuries ? Then that must be good. However, please media, do not drop this story - let us know which aid items actually get through to Gaza - let us know which aid items are deemed contraband by Israel. Please do not let Israel off the hook - just as they will not let Palestine of their hook.

  • Comment number 18.

    jonsmithuk wrote:
    'The elected government of Gaza'

    Oh really? I didn't know Hamas were democratically elected.

  • Comment number 19.

    The important thing here is that there was no violence and nobody died. This is how it could and should have been on the Mavi Marmara.

  • Comment number 20.

    This is a highly polarised debate, full of ideology rather than logic. On one side, aid consisting of food and medicine should be allowed full passage. If the ships of the flotilla, when searched, only contain these materials then they should be allowed to dock.

    Israel does however have the right to protect itself. A few years ago construction materials bound for Gaza (provided by the Israelis no less) was used for the building of tunnels under the border. Thinking Hamas, or the flotilla organisers, are squeaky clean angels is utterly naive. Therefore a non-violent boarding of the Rachel Corrie was justified.

  • Comment number 21.

    Israel is just doing what they have to do to keep Gaza from shooting missiles at them. They're just doing what they have to do to protect themselves and doing it as peacefully as they can. I don't understand why they're being made to look so evil or how it could even be construed as such.

  • Comment number 22.

    re jonsmithuk ..... couldnt have put it better myself!

  • Comment number 23.

    This time there weren't hundreds of protestors to contend with - only a handful of people were aboard the Rachel Corrie.

    I have been wondering why the hundreds aboard the Turkish vessel were ordered to arm themselves even before the Israeli soldiers had actually landed. They were ready and waiting for trouble and, if the film evidence is anything to go by, they provoked the violence by attacking first.

    My allegance lies with neither side but there are still many questions that go unanswered.

  • Comment number 24.

    That they did it peacefully this time shows that they could have done it peacefully last time too.
    The autopsies have been carried out, though you wouldn't know it from the BBC (and some think they're anti-Israeli!). 9 people killed by a total of 30 bullets. 5 killed by shots to the head AT CLOSE RANGE. A 19 year old US citizen shot from less than 45 cm five times: in the FACE (was he spitting at them perhaps?) back of the head (ignoring them?) twice in a leg and the back.
    How will the pro-Israeli brigade react to this, psychologically? You know, cognitive dissonance, where you need to keep your views intact despite overwhelming evidence? Will they say the autopsies were all lies? Or will they secretly think that the people on the boat deserved it? I think we should be told.

  • Comment number 25.

    I wonder if the Rachel Corrie was bringing sole, sirloin steak, veal, red mullet and shrimp for Gaza's famous Roots Club Restaurant -"our passion is food". Check out the fabulous 15 page menu at and ask yourselves who's mugging who.

  • Comment number 26.

    It is long overdue that the United Nations should be dismanteling the Israeli blockade. Israel with the complicity of the USA has ignored numerous UN resolutions and even fired upon and killed unarmed UN peacekeepers. This is not the actions of a peace loving benevolent state. Were any other Nation to act as the present administration of Israel does they would quickly be overrun by UN or NATO forces. To bring peace and a sense of justice to the Middle East Israel must be controlled.

  • Comment number 27.

    What really gets on my nerves is how the news media in UK, BBC icluded, have always portrayed Israel as the good guys and Palestanians as terrorists in all news reports.
    UK, US and the rest of the world should impose an economic and political sanctions against Isreal, just like most western countries did against Apartheid led South Africa in the eighties

  • Comment number 28.

    I can't work out why the Irish have got involved in this? The voices coming from the Rachel Corrie don't actually seem to be Irish but there are plenty of Irish flags. I would have thought that the Irish have enough on their plate, i.e. secular violence unfortunately still not resolved and the recent scandal of priests abusing children - an extreme example of violation of civil rights and liberties. Is it that certain sections of society smell blood and hope to manipulate others to provoke an international incident? If so, the burden of any loss of life must surely be placed on activists aboard the Rachel Corrie. They seem intent on provocation at any cost. Surely they should put their own house in order before embarking on such cavalier escapades. At the end of the day their can only be intelligent negotiation to resolve this matter for the sake of all nations.

  • Comment number 29.

    BTW - looking at the geography of Israel - one can see their problem? Isn't it time Israel did real trade and business integration with it's neighbours.

    However, if Israel's neighbours will not; or have deliberately blocked any business incentives to co-operate - then that should be reported too, and questions asked?

  • Comment number 30.

    8. At 12:19pm on 05 Jun 2010, Syni_cal wrote:
    Child murderers, thieves and now pirates. This is how many decent people throughout the world see the Israeli regime
    That may be, but that doesn't mean they are correct. Many decent people see Israel as a vibrant democratic nation, surrounded and forced to defend herself against ruthless and vicious Islamic dictatorships (and not to mention the incoherent, ignorant Westerners who have only a rudimentary soundbite grip on the facts of the matter). Don't be a sheep.

    Of course Israel was right to intercept the "Rachel Corrie". The ship ignored Israel's repeated requests to divert to Ashdod. They were lucky in my view that they weren't sunk by a torpedo.

  • Comment number 31.

    By the way, no wonder many join the "I hate Israel nadwagon" because of certain reporters who are clearly one sided

  • Comment number 32.

    This ship is just one more attempt to provoke Israel by supporters of Hamas and several Nato countries who have their own mysterious agenda. But remember, Hamas are committed to the destruction of Israel and are willing to inflict any amount of suffering on their people for this end. And to those who speak of a humanitarian crisis why not encourage the Arab nations to help out and supply wealth to them. But note this: if Gaza were to become as wealthy as Dubai, Hamas would still rule by terror inflicting it on their own people.

  • Comment number 33.

    The Hamas is a terrorist organization - thus Israel has a full legal and international right to defend it self.

  • Comment number 34.

    Is this question worth debating? It's a fact that under international law Israeli actions were illegal but what's new there? Im amazed at the coverage pro Israeli ppl get on the BBC. Even on question time last week they had the journalist from the Sun condoning collective punishment on the ppl of Gaza. BBC or IBC you decide!

  • Comment number 35.

    Potty Harry wrote:

    On balance, I would say that the Israeli blockade has at least as much legitimacy as that which we imposed around the Falkland Islands in 1982, and which resulted in the Royal Navy sinking the General Belgrano, in this case without warning.

    Thank you for the comparison with the sinking of the General Belgrano, an action commited by another rotten and dishonest regime.

  • Comment number 36.

    I never thought I would ever be Ashamed to be born BRITISH ,but after the last few days I am getting there ,what happened to the Britain I knew years ago who weren't afraid of anyone not even the might of NAZI Germany now here they are scared witless of a bunch of Israeli thugs .
    I bet that if any other country did what the Israeli's have done in the last week britain and of course america would have been right in there fighting the good fight.

  • Comment number 37.

    No Israel is not right. The world now needs international leadership here because if Israel is not held to account we face a very dangerous future. We cannot have this country simply doing what it desires because the US simply vetoes any UN mandate. It's now time to stop this country through diplomatic and economic means.

  • Comment number 38.

    No! The ship had on board a Nobel Peace laureate, i.e. they were not going to pose a security threat to Israel. The fact that the ship had items that are prohibited from entering Gaza just goes to highlight the terrible plight of Palestinians and the illegitimacy of this blockade. Unless the US decides to punish Israel in some way, things like this are unfortunately likely to happen again in the future.

  • Comment number 39.

    What is my reaction to the boarding of the Rachel Corrie?
    Who on earth does Israel think she is? Israel left Gaza. "Left" means left - gone, no right to blockade.
    Should Israel have boarded the MV Rachel Corrie?
    No, the Rachel Corrie was in international waters on her way to Gaza.
    How should the international community respond?
    Each & every aide ship going to Gaza should be searched and certified as "clean" by the United Nations; also, a UN person should be on board. .
    What impact will this have on Israel's blockade of Gaza?
    I fear nothing will happen.
    I hope the end of the blockade will happen.
    As I followed the progress of the Rachel Corrie:
    3.15am GMT, June 5th: The Irish-flagged ship Rachel Corrie MV was approached in international waters by Israeli patrol boats.
    No action yet taken by these patrol boats.
    The ship is 50 km. off the Gaza coastline.
    Message from Matthias Chang, head of the Malaysian delegation:
    9:30am - Three Israeli patrol boats are now following Rachel Corrie.
    10:00am - Israeli boats coming towards ship. Send out message.
    10:35am - Last contact, 10:35am. Israel has jammed radar.
    Jerusalem Post - Malaysian representative of the Perdana Global Peace Organization: has "agreed to let an international force search the ship, before it proceeds to Gaza.”
    The statement emphasized that activists rejected Israel's right to blockade Gaza. The activists request an independent international body, preferably inspectors from the the United Nations to board the ship and do necessary actions to certify nature of cargo and persons on board.
    The Rachel Corrie MV was boarded by the Israeli Navy close to Gaza. The passengers are said to be under arrest. The passengers and crew unharmed.
    Press Release by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia:
    Malaysia strongly demands Israel to ensure the safety of all the humanitarian activists onboard the cargo vessel MV Rachel Corrie that was seized by the Israeli Defence Force early morning of 5 June 2010.
    Malaysia also demands for Israel not to take any drastic and violent military action on the unarmed passengers of the Rachel Corrie.
    All the humanitarian activists on board the Rachel Corrie should be given the necessary assistance to ensure their safety. Malaysia also calls on Israel to ensure a safe passage for the vessel to Gaza to deliver the humanitarian cargo. In this regard, Malaysia urges the International Community to persuade Israel to allow the humanitarian vessel to reach Gaza safely.
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring the developments as there are six Malaysians on board the Rachel Corrie.
    Dato' Sri Anifah Aman
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia
    5 June 2010

    What does Israel do with the confiscated cargo? Do we really know?
    What we do know, according to the Guardian is that 9 activists died from the previous boarding - all shot more than once, except for one who was shot in the forehead.
    I ask aqain: Who does Israel think she is?

  • Comment number 40.

    Israel will always be " right" as long as USA, the biggest "defender" of human rights and democracy continues to keep silent. Just imagine what would have been the reaction of entire US administration and EU if any other country had blocked aid and killed aid workers..

  • Comment number 41.

    Was Israelis right to intercept the Rachel Corrie
    NO ...NO.............NO
    Most definitly NOT

    What good for the goose is good for the Gander

  • Comment number 42.

    I'd say they should return Hennes Mankell's socks first (as they were taken from him by an Israeli commando, together with his money, credit cards, mp3 player and laptop).

    If the blockade is illegal, then surely searching merchant vessels on the high seas is.

    No-one can seriously maintain Israël is at war. A few thousand fighters crammed in a concentration camp south of the border manage to launch a fire cracker into Israel every now and then, killing about 10 Israeli's over the last 10 years. In response, Israel went in and killed 1,300, that is one in thousand inhabitants.

    Is this 'war'? And if it is, the inexistant Palestinian Navy may now stop and search all vessels bound for Israeli ports as well? If not, why not?

  • Comment number 43.

    Israel is doing what it has always it pleases.

    From the murdering of british troops in the King David hotel, to last weeks act of piracy on the high seas.

  • Comment number 44.

    It is encouraging to hear that this intervention has been entirely peaceful. The shipments on the Rachel Corrie can now be inspected and distributed through appropriate land crossings. Israel must retain the right to inspect shipments and to ensure the protection of its population. The method of boarding the Mavi Marma was strategic folly in my view, in principle the action was justified, but in practice (certainly as a policing operation) it was ill conceived. It also placed Israeli forces in a very dangerous position, which could have been avoided.

  • Comment number 45.

    From all I`ve read the blockage is completely legal . Hamas is a terrorist group and since it killed its co governors el fateh has no legitamatcy since it killed its co governors el fatah .it is also a puppet of iran which the the biggest danger to the mideast and an expanionist radcal Islamic state. Isreal has a right to board ships that don`t cooperate,and try to continue on to Gaza.They did the right thing.

  • Comment number 46.

    Here you can see the difference between real Peace activist and terror activist as in the Turkey vessel

  • Comment number 47.

    I'm Israeli I want peace.Tell me who to contact is there anybody out there? I'm not alone.Everyone I know here is for peace.
    Is Hamas? The problem is that they are in charge.
    Are they representing the Gazapopulations whish? Or are they forcing their stand onto the people?
    I hope not

  • Comment number 48.

    do people really think the corrie was an aid ship ? was it a coincidence it was called 'free Gaza' or that it was timed to arrive on memorial day? If it was really an aid ship to help the suffering , why wouldn't they dock at Ashod to have the goods checked unless there was something to hide? Only the most naive could not recognise this as a massive media manipulation to get people to hate Israel - what amazes me is how the British people are so easily led. I'm so sick of biased reporting. The fact is Palestinians are really suffering, Isrealis are getting fired at and goaded to retaliate continually - why cant the media present balance on both sides
    Only the truth will set people free and sort this out. The whole 'war' is a media war of manipulation and lies and the sooner it is recognised the better.

  • Comment number 49.

    This is just the start of a trail of Flotilla to follow. How many Flotilla would Israeli stop before they realise that the world is determined to break this illegal blockade. To stop the suffering of Gazans in the hand of Israeli lunatics who are determined to ignore the world and international humanitarian calls for the people of Gaza.

    What is getting through? read the BBC report...

  • Comment number 50.

    If no weapons are found on this or the previous invasion those Israeali soldiers should be charged with murder.I mean real weapons not slingshot's and marbles.What could justify 5 bullets to kill one person.

  • Comment number 51.

    Grease... check.
    goggles... check
    Waterproof watch... check.
    Trunks... check.

    Someone told me they saw a shark in the Med. It's not the time for a charity swim.
    Is it ???

  • Comment number 52.

    Of course Israel was right incercept the Rachel Corrie. Those on board are hardly friends of Israel and any country is entitled to ensure the safety of their citizens considering their past experiences. They are obviously being provoked by the opportunists. Gaza needs aid but what has happened to the millions that has been given to the Palestinians from USA, EU and the UAR? Billions were given to Yasar Arafat - so what have they done with the money? There wouldn't be a blockade if they didn't fire rockets across the border. The convoy was not for Gaza because lets face it, the starving children of Africa are in more need, this is for Iran, left wingers, the rest of the anti-Israel lobby and pure anti-semities who have found a fantastic bandwagon or, in this case, boat in their quest to destroy Israel.

  • Comment number 53.

    Yes, Israel has a right to impose a blockade because Hamas doesnt want any peace with Israel and doesnt recognise Israel right to exist. That contravenes the UN resolution of 1947 that divided the british mandate Trans Jordan into Israel and Palestine. Pro palestine supporters would be helping the palestinians to obey,support and accept international law and accept the UN resolution of 1947.

  • Comment number 54.

     Israel has an absolute right to defend itself. Perhaps the way it approached the situation on the boat last week was not the best approach. However, there were numerous warnings and offers to take the aid into israel by land. If those on board were really aid activist, they would have been happy for israel to take the aid through to gaza, via ashdod. 

    They came for a fight, and with the provocative intention on breaking the blockade. Their intention was to cause a fight and they were successful. I think it is clear that those on the mavi marmara were not wholly peace activists. 

    Aid is getting through to gaza, it is legitimately searched by israel and passed across the border. This is to prevent weapons getting across into gaza and being used to fire rockets into citizens in israel. There are still rockets being fired over the border on a daily basis, but incidences of this have fallen dramatically since the blockade began. 
    Once the aid is within gaza, surely questions need to be asked of Hamas and whether the aid is being used for the correct and most appropriate means. 

    Many israelis and Jews want a 2 state solution. Similarly so do many Arabs and Palestinians. This is being prevented by extremists on both sides and whilst Hamas, a terrorist organisation, is in power, this will be totally impossible. 

    The boats trying to get into israel earlier in the week were merely provocative,  and every incident such as this slows down the stuttering peace process. 

    Let's have let's less provocation on both sides, let's have more discussion and get the peace process moving again.  

  • Comment number 55.

    Israel claims it has a right to attack ships in international waters to enforce its 'legal blockade' - but the blockade is not protecting Israel, but blocking access to an illegally annexed territory. It is therefore NOT a legal blockade, but enforcement of the largest concentration camp in history.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    No of course not. All eyes on the government reaction.
    by the way how can israel bolkade Gaza, who authorised that

  • Comment number 58.

    What a bad, sad joke. Israel has become a rogue nation with the tacit approval of the US. Next they will be saying that there are WMDs in Gaza and launching new attacks. Shame on you, Europe for allowing a country to flagrantly defy international law in the name of "security"...

  • Comment number 59.

    Of course it was right thing to do.
    Captain of the ship had to dock in Ashdod without creating any mess.

  • Comment number 60.

    Would these activists take a similar convoy into Tibet or even North Korea?

  • Comment number 61.

    The repeated use of the word 'pirates' to describe the Israelis is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Israel acted within international Law: all the ships were attempting to run a naval blockade. They were given repeated warnings before being boarded.

  • Comment number 62.

    Headlines about Israel's misdeeds come round as regularly as clockwork. Western Governments have all been talking about Israel for donkey's years and have done absolutely nothing to sort out the situation.

    The UN is toothless and is controlled by the USA; the USA supports Israel, ergo nothing will change.

    I can't do anything about it and the people that can, won't. Frankly, I'm bored with it all.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    This is not surprising for me about act of the true terrorists Isrealis .They should be punished for their every action, not only by condomination that does not satisfy everything at all. They are terror to huminity from the day one and they do not deserve any support from peace lover.

  • Comment number 65.

    Let's leave the issue aside whether Israel is right to board this ship or invasion of previous ships in international waters resulting in loss of life.
    Let's simply look at what some of the items Israel is blocking from enetering Gaza. Chocolate, cardamom, potato chips, fresh meat, size A4 paper, writing implements, chicks, donkeys, cement etc etc. If this wasn't a serious situation I would have a very good laugh at it. Maybe Palestinians can make a cement bomb laced with chocolate and send it on a donkey.
    Israel has lost all credibility, if they ever had any a week ago.

  • Comment number 66.

    Until Israel is recognised by Middle East this dilemma of right or wrong would continue. If it is not recognised the major question would be: Is it right or wrong to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities? When Israel territory itself is not recognised by the flotilla where does an international territorial waters appear? Israel has the right to call the bluff.

  • Comment number 67.

    Let's just remind ourselves who Rachel Corrie actually was. Not the ship, the person. She was an activist killed while protesting about Israel bulldozing people's homes. This is the sort of regime we are talking about.

    The UN has repeatedly condemned multiple Israeli actions. The siege of Gaza has been declared illegal and it is estimated that Gaza receives only 25% of the aid required. If these actions were being carried out by, for example, China there would be uproar, and rightly so. But Israel is allowed to act with impunity.

    Just out of curiosity, I'd be interested to know what happens to the items that are seized in Ashdod and not allowed through to Gaza. Given that construction items are not allowed in (so they'll bulldoze homes but the Gazans aren't allowed to build replacements? Lovely) where does it go? Would it be mischievous to point to the encroachment of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank?

    The Israeli state is fast becoming possibly the most arrogant in the world. Even the US makes a pretence of humility at times. Yet Israel seems to believe that it can do whatever it likes. The inaction of most of the rest of the world simply serves to prove them right. Is there any wonder they are disparaged and there are organisations whose aims are to undermine Israel's illegal and immoral actions?

    On the plus side they appear to have achieved the near impossible in the region and brought the governments of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus closer together than ever. Rumour has it Erdogan may be joining the next ship. Go on, Israel, storm a ship carrying a foreign head of state. That will really seal it.

  • Comment number 68.

    Yes Israel have the right to block anyone coming in to Gaza.

    The question I have asked and will keep on asking is WHY !! the money from the UN and EU that is sent to the people in Gaza end up in the pockets of the Hamas supporters and they buy rockets that are sent in to Israel.

    These people on the ships are heading for trouble and some of them think they can do anything and get away with it and Israel will be blamed.

    The people of Gaza need help but it is there own people that are making them suffer

  • Comment number 69.

    Israel were absolutely right to board the MV Rachel Corrie. There is a legitimate naval blockade in place, which has to be policed. The voyage of the MV Rachel Corrie was political, rather than humanitarian. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Israel sends thousands of tons of aid to Gaza every week. Hopefully, the incidents of the past week will have no impact on the naval blockade, until somebody can come up with a better way of limiting the amount of arms being delivered to Hamas (considered by the EU, and the USA to be a terrorist organisation). How should the international community respond? It should support Israel

  • Comment number 70.

    I can't get over the ppl on this site calling Hamas a terrorist org, they are the democratically elected government in Gaza, Israel on the other hand is an illegal, apartheid state built on stolen Palestinian land.

    The IDF had no right to board the aid flotilla, the activists on the Rachel Corrie and other ships of the flotilla are trying to do what the rest of the world's governments refuse to do, which is stand up to Israel and their puppet masters the US and break the illegal siege of Gaza.

    I'm from a racist apartheid state, it's called Australia, it supports the racist apartheid state of Israel just as it supported the racist apartheid state of South Africa. It was the mass demonstrations and BDS campaigns that gave courage to the Black South African workers to overthrow the apartheid system. We need the same kind of movement against Israel now.

    From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

  • Comment number 71.

    a lot of people are misinformed..israel are trying to break the palastinian people.yes they have a right to defend themselves but this is very wrong...the list of banned items include..coriander,a4 sized paper,herbs,chips...come on think about it....1.4 million people living in a tiny area in pure inhuman conditions..israel has no right to board ships in iternational waters...they have an illegal blockade set up around gaza...its about time the us,eu stopped these actions...

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.

    " At 12:10pm on 05 Jun 2010, Anthony wrote:
    Israel may be achieving its goal of blockading Gaza but it is portraing itself as a paranoid, ruthless nation lacking humanity."

    .......... that's beacause it is

  • Comment number 74.

    To seize a ship in international waters is an act of piracy full stop. There was no need at all to board this vessel. A request for the ship to be searched for wepons should have been sought with the Captain of this vessel but if the Captain said no then the Isralis should have waited until the ship entered Israli waters. Does gaza have their own waters?. As for food and aid being used to kil isralies I can just see them being attacked by a rock cake. More ships should be sent under the protection of THE ROYAL NAVY. If any ship is attacked then I am sure one of our subs could protect the fleet. All the aid could be loaded onto barges under the eye of inspectors and taken into Gaza on the barges leaving the main vessel in international waters. Israel must be stoped and the USA must tell them to stop.

  • Comment number 75.

    How would the UK react in a similar scenario: having multitudes of rockets and mortars fired into towns and cities from a neighbouring state on a daily basis?

    My guess is after the first one we'd take decisive action... after the hundredth... the thousandth... and this doesn't even come close to what they suffer from terrorists acting out of Gaza every year.

    Yes, Israel's actions are aggressive, albeit in a protective manner; but in a similar scenario our public would call for blood! The government would be forced to take any and all action necessary to protect its citizens. So for a minute, see it from their perspective and ignore the easily-sold, clichéd outrage stories. They're behaving in a strong willed and protective manner as a government is expected to do when faced with a warmongering adversary.

    These terrorists are not freedom fighters, they're PR gurus. They hide behind human shields: firing from population centres and scampering off before a retaliatory strike. They're clever enough to know that the media jump on the bandwagon when civilians are killed in the resulting Israeli air strikes, but no one asks twice about their deliberate orchestration of the whole thing, martyring their fellow citizens by firing from schools and hospitals and running off.

    There are always (a minimum of) two sides to a story. So don't take the side of what is clearly a minority in this country (the media-hungry political activists who always seem to manage to lead everything back to Israel) and stop calling for punishment against a fellow nation doing precisely what we would do (perhaps with more restraint than we would exercise in their shoes).

  • Comment number 76.

    Reading through these comments it seems apparent that many Brits have forgotten that the UK, USA and Russia are responsible for starting this whole mess. We should have made part of Germany a Jewish state and we wouldn't be in this mess. But, once again, greed over ruled logic and we "gave" the Jews land that belonged to the Arabs. Then the Israelis took even more land once they got there. Wouldn't you be ticked off too? It's time to let Israel stand on their own two feet and fend for themselves. I say let them duke it out with their neighbors.

  • Comment number 77.

    I can empathise with both sides of the debate - humanitarian aid vs. the right to self defence - both legitimate.
    Israel continues to miss a trick, however, when dealing with such explosive issues. It has a massive opportunity to demonstrate the values of democracy and peace by using commensurate and appropiate force when engaging with militants and human rights activists - who may share for a very brief moment a platform and agenda before dispersing again.
    Why, o why, Israel, do you insist on using a gun when faced with a flag, knives and a stick? Was the killing of 9 people really worth the negative PR you have generated for yourself? Do you think people are listening to you more now than before?
    War is fought on many different fronts. Choose your tools carefully and seek to win for both sides. Whether you like it or not - you share this land with the Palestinians.

  • Comment number 78.

    I have been very disappointed by most media coverage of this incident.
    In essence i think that when mainstream news refers to the death of 9 people as a "public relations disaster" something is really wrong.
    Plain and simple, 9 people were shot at close range, some head shots some in the back, in international waters.
    Stop the Spin! This is Murder. Assassination. Crime. Pure and simple. Im not in favour of violence of any kind. Violence only leads to more violence. But we should stop condoning and accepting this type of actions by any government. Violence must stop, in all sides!
    This people should be taken to a court of law, and have a legal and fair trial for murder. Anything else is hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 79.

    If it had been 9 Good British people that were returned in body bags, would there be a little more reaction from our British government?

  • Comment number 80.

    Depends on where the ship was when it was boarded. As it's not a working vessel (e.g. a fishing boat) then the exclusive economic area should still count as international waters. Unless it was within 24 miles of the coast then it is yet again an act of piracy and therefore an act of war against the Republic of Ireland.

  • Comment number 81.

    1 very tiny ship of Hope & Democracy
    in a giant sea of Hate & Theocracy !

    and calling the last pro-islamic, political-activists ~ 'peaceful' ~ was surely a blatant desecration of the word 'peace', as they seem more hell-bent on causing a political situation than actually aiding the poor palestinians. Thank God that this ship caused no aggro but why didn't they dock in Israel !

    Boarding these ships yet again is to me 'plain-stupid' (esp when they could just disable the propellors), but let's not cast Israel as the villian, when it is Hamas and the Arab nations (incl Egypt) who are causing this great hardship for political ends !

    Just listened to BBC-Rad4 Question-Time and totally agree with all the Panel that Israel was stupid and are losing the 'Propoganda War' against a very evil Palestinian Hamas !

  • Comment number 82.

    'Free-Gaza' ~ rid them of Hamas !

  • Comment number 83.

    Ask Israel that all the homes it flatten in 30 days of relentless bombardment of Gaza, With out Cements and Building Materials how do the Gazans build these homes?

  • Comment number 84.

    If you were Israel, you would do the same. This is a very clever move by the 'Peace Activists'. If they keep throwing ships at the Gaza strip sooner or later weapons will be on one of the ships - so what do you expect Israel to do, sit there and except the word of the 'Peace Activists' many of whom are probably quite genuine, but they WILL get used by the terrorist element. Remember Hamas took Gaza they did not win a fair election. I would love both parties to live in peace. I would love to here Hamas accept international aid to re build a modern Gaza. Israel, I have no doubt, would love friendly neighbours. I say PEACE to Hamas, all the people of Gaza and the people of the eastern end of the Med.

  • Comment number 85.

    "25. At 12:49pm on 05 Jun 2010, madaboutbuckets wrote:
    I wonder if the Rachel Corrie was bringing sole, sirloin steak, veal, red mullet and shrimp for Gaza's famous Roots Club Restaurant -"our passion is food". Check out the fabulous 15 page menu at and ask yourselves who's mugging who."

    Hahaha, looks quite good for a country apparently in the midst of a "humanitarian crisis", just shows what you can do with so little, eh? I was disappointed they only serve the soup course in winter, but what can you expect, what with the barbaric blockade and all. They even have Teriyaki steak...

  • Comment number 86.

    A silly question because because the 12 people on the Rachael Corrie know from Monday's events that they would have all been killed by the ruthless Zionist forces if they didn't comply. Still, they should be applauded for showing courage and bringing attention to the illegal blockade of Gaza. In some small way, it all adds to the eventual demolition of the blockade which is inevitable.

  • Comment number 87.

    Israel had no right to board the MV Rachel Corrie other than the right of force. A right that Israel regularly uses.

    The Palestinians in Gaza were ethnically cleansed when Israel was created. Since thejn Israel has ensured that they live a wretched life.

    An arms embargo would be supported by the rest of the world but to severly restrict humanitarian items, including construction materials is barbaric.

  • Comment number 88.

    Should the people of Gaza be kept down forever becuase the Israelis feel threatened. When England was being targeted by the IRA should England have responded by punishing every Irish person by blocking the ports so food, medical aid, toys and building materials could not get in. This would have had the effect of turning a whole country against the British and not just a small group of militants

    It seems strange to me that Israel does not see that blockading a people from receiving aid because of Israels necessity, it then becomes a moral code and that when this necessity became sufficiently great, other people’s rights were not to count.

    That is precisely why we have the disastrous succession of wars-World War No. I and World War No. 2 and continued conflict between Israel and its neighbours

    A like justification can be framed for similar acts of aggression elsewhere and no small nation adjoining a greater Power could ever hope to be permitted to go it own way in peace.

    A country will reap what it sows. People who do not study history are also sure to repeat the mistakes of history.

  • Comment number 89.

    BBC along with other media organizations are really the ones who are responsible for the violence. the only time you would report a humanitarian disaster is when you have people shoot at each other. This only encourages violence.

    the Palestinians resort to terrorism because unless they pick up a gun, no one cares about their homes being demolished, their land being annexed. their human rights trampled etc. If news organizations would simply keep those issues on people's mind without the need for sensationalist stories, They probably won't have to resort to murder in order to end the oppression.

  • Comment number 90.

    Hello again
    Yet another act of piracy by the sionist regime. The sionists say that they will not allow cement into Gaza because it could be used to construct bunkers. In other words the people of Gaza must have no means whatsoever to protect themselves against daily sionist bombardements. The mind boggles. The scenario is surealistic except in the context of a concentration camp. When will the world wake up to the fact that an enormous crime is being committed and the criminals must be brought to book.

  • Comment number 91.

    44. At 1:05pm on 05 Jun 2010, Steve Nimmons wrote:

    It is encouraging to hear that this intervention has been entirely peaceful. The shipments on the Rachel Corrie can now be inspected and distributed through appropriate land crossings. Israel must retain the right to inspect shipments and to ensure the protection of its population. The method of boarding the Mavi Marma was strategic folly in my view, in principle the action was justified, but in practice (certainly as a policing operation) it was ill conceived. It also placed Israeli forces in a very dangerous position, which could have been avoided.


    You forgot to mention that less then 25% of the aid now will be returned to Gaza by road and the rest will be confiscated, like books, raw material for building destroyed homes Israel destroyed in 30 days bombardment of Gaza.

  • Comment number 92.

    Israel cannot impose a marine blockade. It cannot be at war, or as it states the case' be in "armed conflict" with a territory over which it has complete control as the belligerent occupier. Therefore any blockading activity it undertake in the seas is a violation of international law: the laws governing free navigation as well as the laws governing the sailing of a philanthropic vessel even in times of warfare, cannot and do not protect them. .

    The Israelis have invented legal gobbledy-gook which they practise in their own courts, which their own prosecutors or counsels of state and their own judges accept and apply. There is only one problem with this legal nonsense: it is not, and cannot be, binding on anyone outside of the State of Israel. Therefore when they actually try to impose this legal nonsense beyond their borders, they suddenly come up against a wall of opposition. This opposition is based on what is called "ordinary language interpretation" of the laws, which is to say, that interpretation of the law must validate the ordinary meaning of language, rather than to refute it.

    One cannot say that the Israeli leaders are insane in what they have done to the Gaza flotilla. That would deprive them of the criminal responsibility to which they must be held. Rather one may say that they they have contaminated their own brains, and live in a world of their own This however, does not relieve them of the justified opprobrium of the world, nor of the responsibility for their actions!

  • Comment number 93.

    In all History I've never known an aid ship be a "Security Threat".

    Alot of people's reaction here suggest that It is rightful action to prevent aid getting to people. This is just in reality a political attempt by the Israeli government to de legitimise Hamas.

    People seem to have lost track of the real issue and that is the blockade must end.

  • Comment number 94.

    Of course Israel was right to intercept the Rachel Corrie. If Israel lets terrorists break the blockade there will be no end of weapons pouring into Gaza and Israel would be unable to do anything about it. All this nonsense with so called humanitarian ships bringing aid to Gaza is just a distraction and cover up to clear the way for terrorists to openly equip the terrorist group Hamas for war against Israel. Anyone who does not realize that is either without a brain or dead. Israel certainly realizes it and does what is necessary to protect it's national security. There is nothing in the world wrong with that.

  • Comment number 95.

    I don't know the answer to this, and frankly I don't care either. If I hear one more news report about the never ending conflict in this part of the world, it will be one too many.

    As to intervention, why should other countries get involved. Let these argumentative races sort it out for themselves and keep dropping bombs on each other until there's no-one left to fight.

  • Comment number 96.

    "At 12:52pm on 05 Jun 2010, Rossanie wrote:
    I can't work out why the Irish have got involved in this?......"

    This sounds terribly like "look to your own problems and keep your nose out of ours" Unfortunately, this is not Israel's problem - Israel is part of the problem - it is a problem for the world and threatens the peace of every nation.

    Ireland is a non-aligned and neutral country, but supports UN resolutions and offers it's forces to carry out sanctioned UN operations. The Israelis have little love for the Irish contingent of UNIFIL, which restricted their freedom of operation in south Lebanon and that of their allies at the cost of 45 Irish lives, so the Irish have "skin in the game" in this conflict.

    The world does not belong to Israel, and although they may consider themselves to be God's chosen, they have no more right than any other of God's children. They do not have the right to imprison and punish an entire population because they cannot resolve internal issues. They do not have the right to dictate what free citizens may or may not eat, or build and they do not have the right to ignore the overwhelming opinion of the world.

    It is time the zionists looked beyond their hatred and fear of their "enemy" to consider what their behaviour shows to the world. Nobody likes a bully, nobody likes a know-it-all - but above all, nobody likes a hypocrite.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    no 62, Mrs Vee wrote:

    The UN is toothless and is controlled by the USA; the USA supports Israel, ergo nothing will change.
    That things will never change is what the powers that enforce the illegal blockade want you to believe. It is music to their ears hearing that people rant with anger but resign to believing nothing can change. Start believing differently and things WILL change.

  • Comment number 99.

    The blockade is no secret...Hamas has launched over 10,000 rockets at Israel in the attempt to kill Israeli families...the terrorists who want to kill the Israelis, would kill your family in a heartbeat...sounds like a hostile neighbor that no intentions of living peacefully...keep up the blockade.

  • Comment number 100.

    To No. 39

    Israel has not "left" Gaza, but turned it into an open-air cemetery. 20% of the land is a "no-go shoot-to-kill area and subject to regular incursions by tanks and bulldozers.. The 12 miles of Gazan territorial waters have been reduced to 3 (and sometimes smaller,) in which fishermen are regularly shot. Overflying and bombing also take place. Killing of unarmed Palestinians is common. So the territory is still under Israel's control - still occupied by armed forces as free use of it's own territory is denied to the legitimate Government of Gaza - Hamas.

    But rockets ? incredibly few are reported and they are generally ineffective-

    A quote from an Israeli newspaper : "Recently an intelligence official actually called the absence of Palestinian terror a 'propaganda problem.'


Page 1 of 28

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.