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French expert POV on the boarding of the flotilla

bub

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Since most of us do not know anything about the way Marine Commandos use to board ships, I think it can be interesting to read the POV of some experts.

Here is the opinion of a French expert:

Le Figaro - International : Le mode opératoire des commandos de marine de Tsahal en question

- the legal side has been ignored since the boardings took place in international waters: "usually, these operations are caried out in the 12-miles limit, because the UN convention forbids boardings in international waters"

- usually, you don't send the helicopters first: "we approach close to the ships on small boats and then ask the captain of the ship to let us board. If that does not work, we attempt to board from our small boats. And only if it does not work we use the helicopters"

- then, if they are attacked, "Commandos have non-lethal ways to handle these situations: tazer, soft ammunitions...we never use real ammunitions except in case of critical situation". However, the boardings off Gaza turned into a chaos.

While there is a disagreement on the first point and that the third point is not really debatable, I think most of us could agree that it was not a smart idea to board the ship from helicopters, as it made every retreat impossible, and as a retreat could have avoided the massacre. In fact I don't understand why they have used helicopters, as the humanitarian convoy was not very fast and was still far off Gaza, there was no emergency.
 
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CrazyMcCool

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They were fired at and then they used real ammunition, they actually got fired at for a while before they started using real ammunition, and i would bet half of the killed are killed by activists now knowing how to handle a gun..

And the first 2 is exactly what happened.
 

Apocalypse

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Since most of us do not know anything about the way Marine Commandos use to board ships, I think it can be interesting to read the POV of some experts.

Here is the opinion of a French expert:

Le Figaro - International : Le mode opératoire des commandos de marine de Tsahal en question

- the legal side has been ignored since the boardings took place in international waters: "usually, these operations are caried out in the 12-miles limit, because the UN convention forbids boardings in international waters"
Israel is not a signatory to that UN convention so that is a very strong "usually".
- usually, you don't send the helicopters first: "we approach close to the ships on small boats and then ask the captain of the ship to let us board. If that does not work, we attempt to board from our small boats. And only if it does not work we use the helicopters"
I agree.
Some of the ships were boarded with small boats and some from hellicopters.
But that's 100% irrelavent, it bears no legal issues.
I agree with that one too.
I don't think that the using of helicopters instead of speed boats really matters.
What matters is that the situation was critical for the soldiers and that for quite a long time they were struggling the crowd suffering injuries from metal rods and knives, without drawing their weapons and firing.
It was a show of great restraint by the soldiers, I can't say I'd act the same if I was lynched like that.
 
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bub

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Some of the ships were boarded with small boats and some from hellicopters.
But that's 100% irrelavent, it bears no legal issues. .
I'm not talking about the legality of boarding from helicopters, I'm (or rather the French expert is) saying that usually they board from small boats. I think there are good reasons for doing that: one of them is that the IDF commando could have retreated easily instead of shooting at 40 or 50 people.
 

alexa

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Some of the ships were boarded with small boats and some from hellicopters.
.

I have been asking this question for some time and not yet received an answer. Which boat apart from the one with the deaths were approached by helicopters?
 

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I have been asking this question for some time and not yet received an answer. Which boat apart from the one with the deaths were approached by helicopters?
The two other big ships in the flotila.
The small ones were boarded by speed boats, small boats.
 

Tashah

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I think there are good reasons for doing that: one of them is that the IDF commando could have retreated easily instead of shooting at 40 or 50 people.
I'm curious. How do you come to this "40 or 50 people" conclusion?
 

bub

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I'm curious. How do you come to this "40 or 50 people" conclusion?
According to all the sources I've read there are at least 9 killed and 36 wounded. That's 45 people.

But that's off-topic, let's discuss about the opinion of the French expert.
 
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According to all the sources I've read there are at least 9 killed and 36 wounded. That's 45 people.
There are exactly 9 people killed and the number of wounded is unknown.

But what has made you so certain that they were all hit by gunshots?
 

Tashah

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According to all the sources I've read there are at least 9 killed and 36 wounded. That's 45 people.
Stop being coy. Here are your exact words...

...the IDF commando could have retreated easily instead of shooting at 40 or 50 people.
I ask you once again. How do YOU know which bullets struck whom?
 

bub

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Stop being coy. Here are your exact words...


I ask you once again. How do YOU know which bullets struck whom?
Well you can understand the reasoning only if you assume that all of them were wounded by gunfire. Some of them could have been wounded with others weapons, such as the paintballs, or that there was friendly fire (on both sides btw) indeed.

But you are still off topic, this thread is about the opinion of the French expert on the boarding.
 
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Tashah

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Well you can understand the reasoning only if you assume that all of them were wounded by gunfire. Some of them could have been wounded with others weapons, such as the paintballs, or that there was friendly fire (on both sides btw) indeed.
I've played paint-ball myself. Nobody dies from a paint-ball.

The activist had stolen and was firing an IDF weapon. Ergo, one cannot know which bullets were fired by whom.

But you are still off topic, this thread is about the opinion of the French expert on the boarding.
Just correcting your erroneous inference that all of the dead and wounded must accrue to the IDF commandos.
 

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I thought I knew French but screaming at a French salesman and pointing at the product you want is a bit different from reading the language I fear...

Bub, who is the expert and what makes him a qualified expert?
 

bub

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And maybe the rioters have died of heart attack, or have commited suicide. Or maybe it was salmonella, who knows?

Now, about the boarding, it looks like more options were available, and inexplicably the worst one was chosen

"The question is," he wrote, "how, after all these endless meetings, the worst possible decision imaginable was ultimately made."

The key failure, he argued, was the order to land a relatively small number of naval commandos "into a floating hornets' nest, with hundreds of violent, hate-driven Islamic radicals". The commandos had "no chance" in the ensuing battle.

David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, echoed this analysis in a signed frontpage piece. "Inexplicably, only a small contingent of naval commandos was dispatched to take control of a ship carrying hundreds of activists."
An alternative would have been to sabotage the engines and then tow the boats without boarding them at all.

Israel looks inward as critics reach one verdict on flotilla raid: it's a fiasco | World news | The Guardian
 

bub

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I thought I knew French but screaming at a French salesman and pointing at the product you want is a bit different from reading the language I fear...

Bub, who is the expert and what makes him a qualified expert?
She does not give his name but apparently he is a member of the French special forces: "Selon un expert membre des forces spéciales françaises"
 

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And maybe the rioters have died of heart attack, or have commited suicide. Or maybe it was salmonella, who knows?

Now, about the boarding, it looks like more options were available, and inexplicably the worst one was chosen



An alternative would have been to sabotage the engines and then tow the boats without boarding them at all.

Israel looks inward as critics reach one verdict on flotilla raid: it's a fiasco | World news | The Guardian
All of those options were already addressed bub.
The engine sabotaging for example; it was explained that the towing of such big boats would have taken too much time.(A matter of days).
It was also said that the ship could not be blocked with other ships due to its size and to the fear that it would try and smash through.
 

bub

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The engine sabotaging for example; it was explained that the towing of such big boats would have taken too much time.(A matter of days).
What's the problem if it takes several day to tow the ships?
 

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They could dispose of their guns...actually I dont know if the activists had guns, but still i dont know really. Seems like a misunderstanding that ended badly.
 

VanceMack

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This thread is fast becoming a scene right out of Monty Python..."lets not argue or haggle over who killed who..."

The way i see it the people on the boat were spoiling for a fight and now their supporters are upset they got one.

How stupid is that..."ha! dare ya...double dare ya...TRIPLE dare ya! What the...Hey!!! You hit me...what the hell did you do that for..."
 

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What's the problem if it takes several day to tow the ships?
Much easier too just turn the ships around and avoid boarding, towing, etc.

They had many opportunities to do so.

But then again, avoiding interception would have defeated the main purpose of this charade.
 

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They could dispose of their guns...actually I dont know if the activists had guns, but still i dont know really. Seems like a misunderstanding that ended badly.
Yes, the activists had firearms.

MICHAEL OREN: ...the minute they landed on the ship, they were beaten with iron rods. They were fired at with firearms, with knives. One of the soldiers was toppled from the top of the ship to the deck below and sustained severe head injuries.

GWEN IFILL: They didn't fire first?

MICHAEL OREN: They didn't fire first.
Israeli Ambassador: Soldiers Had 'No Choice But to Defend Themselves' | PBS NewsHour | May 31, 2010 | PBS
 

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Much easier too just turn the ships around and avoid boarding, towing, etc.

They had many opportunities to do so.

But then again, avoiding interception would have defeated the main purpose of this charade.
Exactly.

GWEN IFILL: So, what exactly do you think that this humanitarian flotilla, as they call themselves, was attempting, just to break the blockade to provoke or to do what has done -- happened in the past, which is get supplies to Gaza?

MICHAEL OREN: Well, certainly to provoke, not to provide humanitarian aid.

Over the past several days, Israel has been engaged in intense diplomacy to try to convince the participants in the flotilla to transfer the humanitarian aid in their cargo holds to Israel. And Israel vowed to transfer that aid to Gaza. About 100 trucks of humanitarian aid, food and medicine go into Gaza every day. There's no shortage of food in Gaza. There's no shortage of immediate in Gaza. This would have been additional aid.

And we would have been happy to transfer it on. But the purpose of this flotilla wasn't to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. It was to make a political statement and to provoke Israel into blockading the flotilla from arriving to Gaza.

The -- if they had wanted really to aid the people of Gaza, they would have given us the humanitarian aid.

Israeli Ambassador: Soldiers Had 'No Choice But to Defend Themselves' | PBS NewsHour | May 31, 2010 | PBS
 

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She does not give his name but apparently he is a member of the French special forces: "Selon un expert membre des forces spéciales françaises"
I think I am beginning to understand. A video showing the immediate swarming attack on the Israelis as soon as the first landed on board doesn't mean a thing, since that does not jibe with our agenda.

Some unidentified French dude saying stuff is of utmost importance, though!!

Got it.
 

bub

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But then again, avoiding interception would have defeated the main purpose of this charade.
I never said the contrary. It's the goal of such operations: attract the attention of medias and make your opponent look bad. And that goal has been more than reached.
 
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