News you may have missed #393

  • US warns Turkey against Gaza flotilla probe. London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat claimed on Saturday that US President Barack Obama told Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan that an independent inquiry into the Free Gaza Flotilla massacre “could turn into a double-edged sword” against Ankara.
  • US experts doubt North Korea sunk South Korean ship. A new study by US researchers raises questions about the investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean navy ship, which went down last March, killing 46 sailors. International investigators have blamed a North Korean torpedo, raising tensions on the Korean peninsula.
  • Nixon-Kissinger dialogue raises CIA assassination suspicions. A loaded dialogue between President Richard M. Nixon and his trusted national security adviser, Henry A. Kissinger, dating from 1971, appears to confirm that the CIA had a role in the 1970 assassination of Chilean army commander-in-chief Rene Schneider.

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Analysis: Israel Suffers Strategic Blowback in Flotilla Raid

Gaza Freedom Flotilla raid

Flotilla raid

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Speaking before a parliamentary committee about last month’s Israeli raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which killed nine and injured over 60 international volunteers, a senior Israeli intelligence official warned  that “[e]vents [like this] are likely to go out of control and the situation could deteriorate to extreme scenarios”. The official was no other than Meir Dagan, director of the Mossad, Israel’s foremost external intelligence agency. As I explain in an article published yesterday in Daily News Corner, to some extent, Dagan’s “extreme scenario” has already materialized. The raid’s outrageous death toll has further-worsened Israel’s deteriorating relations with Australia and has caused the outright termination of the Jewish state’s diplomatic contacts with several non-Western countries that used to be among its closest international friends, such as Turkey, South Africa, Ecuador and Nicaragua. More importantly, the flotilla attack has even stigmatized Israel’s relations with the United States, a development that fits into the broader pattern of steadily worsening US-Israeli relations in recent years. It is no coincidence that, on the day after the raid, Mossad chief Dagan said that “Israel is gradually turning from an asset to the United States to a burden”. Read article →

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Israeli Navy insiders deplore Gaza flotilla raid

Mike Eldar

Mike Eldar

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A day after a former Mossad officer described last week’s Israeli raid on a fleet of Gaza-bound aid ships as “stupid”, former and current Israeli Navy insiders have strongly criticized the bloody operation. Speaking from Israel, Mike Eldar, a 20-year veteran of an elite Israeli Navy special missions unit, said the only explanation for the Israel Defense Forces’ attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was “stupidity [and] super egos”. He was echoing the words of former Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky, who last week described the raid as an act that was “so stupid it is stupefying”. The operation, carried by the IDF’s elite Shayetet 13 amphibious unit, resulted in the deaths of nine and the injuries of over 60 flotilla passengers. Elgar added that the botched raid’s result “made no sense”, considering that there must have been Mossad agents on board the ships, and that the IDF “had at least two weeks to prepare, with lots of practice”. Read more of this post

Analysis: Israel’s Flotilla Raid Involved Espionage, Sabotage

MV Mavi Marmara

Mavi Marmara

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The intense worldwide debate about last Monday’s Israeli raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has concentrated relatively little on the operation’s intelligence facets. As I explain in an article published yesterday at Daily News Corner, this is puzzling, considering that the intelligence aspects of the attack are largely responsible for its bloody outcome. The Gaza-bound ships had drawn minor international attention prior to the first media reports of the raid in international waters by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). But the effort by the Israeli security services to prevent the flotilla from reaching its intended destination did not begin in the Mediterranean Sea. It started several months before the fleet of ten vessels was even chartered by the Humanitarian Aid Foundation (ÍHH). Indeed, despite the revered image that is often projected by the Israeli security services, faulty intelligence may be at the root of the debacle on the MV Mavi Marmara, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla’s largest ship, where IDF commandos killed nine and injured over 60 passengers and crew. Read article →

Turkey, Iran, offer warship protection for Gaza flotillas

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Tayyip Erdoğan

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Close aides to the Turkish Prime Minister’s office have disclosed that Ankara is funding a new fleet of ships to sail to Gaza under protection by Turkish warships. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps have also offered warship protection. The office of Turkey’s Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, is now actively assisting the Turkish-based Humanitarian Aid Foundation (ÍHH) in fundraising for the acquisition of a new fleet of ships to carry humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Last Monday, an ÍHH-funded flotilla bound for Gaza was raided in international waters by the Israeli Navy, which diverted the ships to Israel after killing nine and injuring over 60 passengers. According to reports from The Associated Press and Agence France Presse, Mr. Erdogan plans to be among the passengers of the new flotilla, which will be escorted en route to Gaza by Turkish warships. Meanwhile, reports from Iran’s government-aligned Mehr News Agency indicate that the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have offered their warships as protection for future aid ship convoys to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #367 (Gaza flotilla edition IV)

  • Flotilla raid dead include US citizen. One of the nine people killed in an Israeli commando raid on a flotilla of ships heading for Gaza this week was a United States citizen of Turkish descent, according to officials in Turkey and Washington. Still no response from the White House or the US State Department.
  • South Africa, Ecuador, Nicaragua recall envoys from Israel. Ecuador President Rafael Correa says he has recalled the country’s ambassador to Israel following the deadly Israeli Navy raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. The Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said the ambassador would leave Tel Aviv immediately. Meanwhile, Nicaragua has suspended all of its diplomatic ties with Israel. South Africa has also recalled its ambassador to Israel. A South African Foreign Ministry spokesman said the move marks “a low point in relations” between the two countries.

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Israel abducts American survivor of USS Liberty bombing onboard Gaza flotilla

USS Liberty

USS Liberty

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Among nine US citizens abducted in international waters by Israeli troops on Monday was a survivor of the attack on the USS Liberty, an American intelligence ship that was napalm-bombed by the Israeli Air Force in 1967. US Navy veteran Joe Miduras, of Corpus Christi, Texas, was among the nearly 700 civilians from 40 different countries, who were illegally abducted by the Israeli Defense Forces following a bloody raid on the Gaza  Freedom Flotilla on May 31. The 67-year old veteran was a soldier onboard the Liberty, an unarmed US National Security Agency communications surveillance vessel, when it was napalm-bombed in international waters by Israeli jets during the fourth day of the 1967 Six-Day War. Although the ship did not sink, Israeli jets machine-gunned the Liberty lifeboats carrying American servicemen, ultimately killing 34 and seriously injuring over 150 US crew members. Read more of this post