Wed, June 02, 2010 | Debka’s Files
Against the US president Barack Obama’s bid to bridge the rift, Turkish generals are drawing up plans to break Israel’s Gaza blockade and avenge 9 deaths, while Israel is bound by its war on terror to thwart them.
Debka sources reports that Turkish air, sea, land forces mass in northern Cyprus 150 km from Israel. It becomes clear that the personal involvement of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Free Gaza Flotilla is his follow up on his verbal assault on Israeli president Shimon Peres in Davos, january 30, 2009 after Operation Cast Lead (the Gaza war, 2008/2009). Erdogan is beating his drums of war on Israel. The Gaza Flotilla was not about bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, but only to provoke Israel’s Navy and to breach the naval blockade to Gaza. It was anticipated as a win-win situation for Turkey at the cost of 9 dead “suicide militants.” Turkey’s sole aim is to delegitimize the state of Israel and to confirm the legitimacy of Hamas for the world leaders and to stage a new Middle East war. And he will continue to do so in bringing more and bigger Turkish ships to Gaza. Israel walked into a Turkish trap.
Early Wednesday, June 2, US president Barack Obama stepped into the fast-deteriorating flotilla crisis to stop it from spinning out of control. In secret phone calls, he asked Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to release all the remaining passengers without delay as well as the six ships. He then tried to reason with the incandescent Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan, who had just branded the Israeli raid a “bloody massacre.”1
Offering deep condolences for the loss of life aboard the flotilla, the US president said better ways must be found to bring humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza without undermining Israel’s security. He supported the UN Security Council’s call for “a credible, impartial and transparent investigation” of the event, but refused to condemn Israel or take the inquiry out of its hands.2
Debkafile reports from Ankara that Erdogan declined to be talked round, declaring that if America did not punish Israel for insolently “trampling on human honor”, Turkey would.3
Israel is preparing for Ankara’s next steps that would defy President Obama’s bid to find a way out of the crisis between the two former allies. In Jerusalem, Erdogan’s accusations were deemed an unfounded and unjustified assault considering the evidence that he had consorted with terrorists, including an al Qaeda offshoot, to bring Israel under pressure in support of the Palestinian extremist Hamas.4
This evidence released by the IDF Monday night, June 01, described how the Turkish Marmara, the flotilla’s lead vessel, had been commandeered by terrorists indirectly supported by the Ankara government’s subsidy to the Turkish Insani Yardim Vakfi – IHH, which is listed by the American CIA as an al Qaeda-linked Islamist terrorist organization with bases in Turkey, Bosnia and Bulgaria.5
How did the Israel intelligence agencies than “missed spotting the terrorist presence aboard the putative aid-for-Gaza convoy and let a naval force undertake the mission to divert the ships to Ashdod, without preparing them for a violent confrontation with a determined, well-organized group of violent men?”6
Those passengers attested to more than a hundred members of terrorist organizations aboard acting like a quasi-military group with a command hierarchy, whose leader forced the other four or five hundred passengers to fall into line behind them. The group was split into sub-sections, each in charge of a section of the ship before and after it set sail from Istanbul. Its members were all armed with an assortment of chains, iron bars and knives as well as night goggles and gas masks.7
Although they appeared to hail from different terrorist organizations from various countries, they were all ordered to say they belonged to the IHH. The group kept the ship to a strict military regiment, including round-the-clock guards in the different sections of the Marmara.8
When the ship was brought to Ashdod port and the passengers removed early Tuesday, the IHH members were found without identification papers of any kind. Either the Turkish authorities at Istanbul were instructed to let them embark aboard the Marmara without documents or they threw them overboard before the ship docked at Ashdod. Each had an envelope stuffed with thousands of dollars.9
Debkafile’s intelligence sources disclose that, when first brought in, the Turkish terror activists refused to answer questions. By Tuesday nightfall, a few began talking and admitted to being members of IHH and its ties with al Qaeda’s Balkan outfit. Throughout the interrogations, Israel intelligence was in contact with colleagues in Western services for help to identify them by means of fingerprints and other physical features. Our counter-terror sources report that Israel must now decide whether to prosecute some of the activists, including Israeli Arabs, on board the Marmara, on charges of collaborating with an international terrorist organization.10
After surrendering to Turkey’s ultimatum to release all the passengers, including the seven members of Islamist terrorist groups who assaulted the Israeli boarding party, debkafile reports the Netanyahu government faced a fresh ultimatum from Ankara: Lift the Gaza blockade at once. In his televised message to the nation Wednesday night , Netanyahu pledged “to continue to uphold our right to self-defense against terror.”11
Furthermore, the Irish vessel Rachel Corrie, which was left out of the flotilla after it developed technical trouble, was discovered to have changed course from a direct route to Gaza and headed for a stopover at a Turkish port. debkafile’s counter-terror sources disclose suspicions in the Israeli government and naval command that the Irish ship would take aboard a new batch of trained Turkish IHH terrorists and head for the Gaza Strip. They might even be the same IHH activists who attacked Israeli commandos on the Marmara and were deported Wednesday.12
Erdogan has resolved that this group which he personally sponsored will reach Gaza Port by hook or by crook. It is also feared in Jerusalem that he may attach an escort of Turkish warships and air force jets to accompany the Rachel Corrie and make sure the ship breaks through the blockade to its destination.13
The Irish ship was first scheduled to anchor Saturday, June 5, but its detour to Turkey will delay its arrival by a couple of days.14
According to a STRATFOR source, one Turkish patrol ship is circling the area near the Gaza coast, but is not entering Israeli territorial waters. There is no sign yet of readiness on the part of the Turkish navy to provide escorts to aid ships making their way to the Gaza coast. The source indicated that the patrol ship is only in observation mode for the time being.15
When it comes to war between Turkey and Israel, what about NATO? Turkey is member of the NATO since 1952 and is an important ally of the NATO in the War on Terror.
Article 5, the cornerstone of the alliance, says ”an armed attack” against any of the allies in Europe or North America ”shall be considered an attack against them all.” It commits NATO members to take the necessary measures, including the use of force, to restore security.
At the same time, Turkey has recently become part of the Syria-Iran-Hizballah-Hamas bloc and when war breaks out between Turkey and Israel, they will not sit by and do nothing. Israel could be faced with a northern front in Israel, Lebanon (Hizballah) and Syria as well, and in de Gaza Strip with Hamas. And than there’s the possibility of a new Intifada within the Israeli borders and the West Bank.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again threatened Israel with destruction for any action it may take anywhere and its Western supporters with international trial as war criminals.16 Iranian President Ahmadinejad “vowed Friday to keep supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas until the “collapse of Israel.” Given the close ties between Iran and Hamas, it would be irrational simply to dismiss the possibility that Iran (once it has a nuclear weapons capability) would contribute to that collapse by supplying Hamas with a suitable tactical nuclear device.17
1 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
2 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
3 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
4 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
5 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
6 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
7 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
8 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
9 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
10 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
11 [Debka.com, Thu, June 03, 2010.]
12 [Debka.com, Thu, June 03, 2010.]
13 [Debka.com, Thu, June 03, 2010.]
14 [Debka.com, Thu, June 03, 2010.]
15 [Freerepublic, Thu, June 03, 2010]
16 [Debka.com, Wed, June 02, 2010.]
17 [Loyaltoliberty.com, Tue, June 01, 2010.]