The socialist youth organisation Resistance unequivocally condemns the outrageous, illegal and murderous attack by the Israeli Defense Force on the civilian flotilla carrying aid to Gaza.
Israel's assault kills twice. The theft of urgently needed humanitarian aid that was destined for the starving people of Gaza, and the murder of at least nine innocent people by the Israeli commandos, is inexcusable.
The humanitarian fleet was illegally boarded by Israeli commandos in the early hours of the morning on May 31, while in international waters. This was nothing short of an act of piracy and in clear breach of international law by the Israeli state.
During the attack, the Israeli terrorists indiscriminately opened fire on the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship of the fleet, which resulted in the multiple deaths of peaceful civilians on board.
The Israeli government claims this was a result of its soldiers “firing in self defence at the aggression of those on board”. However, Israel’s actions were clearly premeditated. In the lead-up to the assault, Naor Gilon, deputy director general of Israel’s foreign ministry, said: “Israel has no intention of allowing the flotilla into Gaza.”
Further, eyewitnesses have told Al Jazeera news they were surrounded by up to 30 navy warships, and highly-trained military commandos armed with automatic weapons descended from helicopters, firing live ammunition before even landing on the deck.
Those onboard fought back not with weapons, but with whatever they could get their hands on: chairs, sticks, tools and kitchen utensils. The blood is clearly on Israel's hands.
A human rights and international law expert at the Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza told Ma'an news: “In international waters the crew of a ship have the right to prevent others from boarding their ship without their permission, including by resorting to force.”
And under any law, people have the right to defend themselves when they are being illegally attacked. The brave people on board the Mavi Mamara did nothing but exercise their right to stand up and resist the illegal takeover of their vessel by trained military commandos.
Meanwhile, Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has responded with pathetic statements against “any use of violence” and made the ridiculous suggestion of an “independent inquiry” by the Israeli government.
We call on Rudd to condemn Israel's attack as an illegal act of state piracy.
The Australian government must back up its call for Israel to end its blockade on Gaza with action. Israel won’t listen to words.
Australia should follow the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua in cutting all diplomatic, military, security and cultural ties with Israel.
We applaud the decision of the Egyptian government to reopen the border with Gaza, and the Turkish government's commitment to support further humanitarian aid flotillas.
Israel is an apartheid state, where the Arab population is systematically discriminated against, forced into ghettos and denied basic human dignities.
We can destroy this apartheid system only through assisting the struggle of the Palestinian people for justice through a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions on Israel.
Resistance pledges its support in building this campaign for the rights and liberation of the oppressed people of Palestine.