Nytt

Aktivistene som var i ferd med å få i stand en ny Gaza-flotilje, har støtt på en rekke juridiske problemer som hittil har forhindret avreise. Den siste utviklingen er at greske myndigheter har nektet flåten å forlate havnene hvor båtene ligger, hvilket ifølge Jerusalem Post har fått åtte av dem som forsøkte å dra til Gaza med det amerikanske fartøyet The Audacity of Hope, hvis kaptein ble arrestert, til å gå til sultestreik med krav om at amerikanske myndigheter erklærer skipets rett til å legge ut.

Den engelske journalisten og forfatteren Melanie Phillips skriver på sin blogg at det israelske advokatbyrået Shurat haDin har hovedæren for dette. Advokatene ser ut til å ha innledet en slags «lawfare» mot flotiljen på en rekke forskjellige fronter:

The main reason is a series of unprecedented and ingenious manoeuvres by Israeli lawyers which have tied up the boats in legal actions mainly concerning insurance and registration issues.

Listen over Shurat haDins rettslige skritt og trusler om sådanne er ganske imponerende:

It sent letters to all the maritime insurance companies in Europe and Turkey, warning them that if they provided the flotilla boats with insurance (a necessary component in the effort to smuggle contraband to the terrorists) that they themselves would be legally liable for any future terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas.

It filed an unprecedented lawsuit to seize the flotilla boats. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an American terror victim injured by a Palestinian suicide bomber.

It sent warning letters to a French insurance company warning it not to insure a boat that was to be launched from Marseilles. The company accordingly decided not to provide the French boat with insurance.

After the main Turkish boat the Mavi Marmara pulled out of the flotilla, the New York Times reported that one reason (along with political pressure) was the boat’s inability to obtain maritime insurance.

It sent warning letters to the UK and US based global satellite company INMARSAT, stating that it might be liable for massive damages and criminal prosecution if it provided communication services to ships used by suspected terror organizations in the flotilla. Then a resident of the southern Israeli town of Sderot filed a legal suit asserting that, under US law, Inmarsat was aiding and abetting terrorism by providing satellite services to the flotilla vessels.

This week the New York Times reported that Greek authorities had detained two of the ships docked in Greece, including an American vessel, after Shurat haDin complained to the Greek Coast Guard suggesting that seven of the ships might be lacking insurance or were improperly registered.

Flotiljens deltagere går heller ikke fri for rettslig oppmerksomhet:

And I can reveal that a separate legal move today threatens fourteen of the flotillistas with arrest if they enter Israeli territorial waters.

En av de fjorten er nordmann. For amerikanere som måtte sette kursen for Gaza-stripen, kan det vente større problemer enn simpelthen en arrestasjon:

In addition, the US Attorney General has threatened the 36 Americans on the flotilla that they will be liable for criminal prosecution if they sail.

 

Melanie Phillips: The flotilla and the Third Intifada