Thursday, June 3, 2010

Helsinki Principles: Israel Was in the Right

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A perusal of  The Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality, a basis for international law on the subject, shows that Israel was well within its prescriptions in forcibly stopping the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Flotilla

The relevant clauses in the Helsinki Principles read as follows:

5.1.1 Neutral ships in belligerent ports

A neutral ship in a belligerent port enjoys the same protection against attacks as civilian objects in land warfare… Neutral warships in belligerent ports retain their right of self-defense.

5.1.2 Protection against attacks

(3) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search, capture or diversion.

(4) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they

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