Here we go again?
The IDF is preparing for the forceful interdiction of a Libyan sponsored ship allegedly headed for the Gaza Strip, despite lingering criticism over the handling of the interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla on May 31 in which nine people were killed, military sources told Haaretz yesterday.
An internal military probe into the incident released yesterday found only professional mistakes in planning and carrying out the operation against the Mavi Marmara.
The Libyan ship could come within range of the Gaza-shore tonight, but at this stage it is still unclear whether its captain will opt to head for the Sinai port of El Arish, where it will instead aim for Gaza. In its official log the ship has El Arish as its destination.
Here’s hoping it does not come to this, but if it does, we learn from our mistakes from last time.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
11:42PM: Is it just me, or does Syrian dorktator Bashar Assad look dorkier than ever?
10:55PM: A majority of 34 members of the Knesset has voted in favor of revoking MK Hanin Zoabi’s privileges, due to her participation in the Gaza aid flotilla in May, including invalidating her diplomatic passport and revoking her right to receive funding for legal expenses.
10:40PM: Google.com has the following logo to commemorate the birthday of Israeli songwriter Naomi Shemer, who passed away 6 years ago.
8:28PM: The caption of the Libyan ship says he plans to sail to el-Arish, and not Gaza.
7:10PM: Despite earlier indicating they would sail to the Egyptian port of el-Arish and transfer aid by ground to Gaza if Israel would not allow it to sail directly there, the Libyan ship organizers are now refusing to alter their destination and will steam on for Gaza.
5:08PM: Very cool.
An Israeli company called Nanoflight is currently developing a special paint that makes drones, missiles, or war craft simply disappear. Or, to be more precise, they become very difficult to detect.
The critical stage in developing the paint, which was developed in a nanotechnology lab, has recently concluded, and a successful test run was conducted this week. For the test run, a thin layer of the material was painted on dummy missiles, and radar waves aimed at them had a difficult time registering them.
The paint particles don’t make the missile’s detection on the radar disappear completely, but make it exceedingly difficult to positively identify the object as a missile. In the future, this development will allow any missile or jet significantly decreased radar detection.
How does it work? In order to locate objects, the radar transmitter sends out electromagnetic waves. When these waves hit an object, they are scattered in all directions, with some of them being bounced back to the radar itself. Regular signal reception indicates the existence of an object.
The nanotechnology developed envelopes the object, absorbs the radio waves emitted by the radar, and releases them as heat energy scattered in space. In doing so, the material disguises the object, making it difficult to identify by radar.
3:36PM: A person on the Libyan ship has claimed Israel sent a threat that it will dispatch Navy soldiers to intercept the ship if it does not change its route, and said the Navy will block its entry to Gaza and will allow it to dock in Ashdod.
3:24PM: According to the IDF Spokesperson, the Israeli Navy has begun the process of questioning the Libyan ship.
3:20PM: You can follow the progress of the Libyan ship here.
3:08PM: Israel has reportedly made radio contact with the Libya-sponsored Gaza ship.
12:28PM: Former Lebanese Minister Wiam Wahhab likes the Germans.
[evil laugh warning]
Great neighborhood we live in.
10:55AM: Can you guess the mystery object?
(a) The world’s tastiest chocolate
(b) A clay fragment found in excavations outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls beneath a 10th Century BC tower and containing the oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem.
(c) Something extracted from the bowels of this man
And the answer is…
as if you didn’t already know.
10:25AM: The Israeli Foreign Ministry has advised the defense establishment to wait until the Libyan aid ship approaches or enters the Gaza’s strip’s territorial waters before making any attempt to stop it.
The ministry advised that unofficial statements by the ship’s crew indicating that they do intend to reach Gaza might not be legally sufficient to justify stopping the ship at sea.
“We recommend that any enforcement be carried out only if the blockade is actually breached or at least at maximum proximity to the closure zone, so as to create a clearly justified basis for the action. As will be recalled, we recommended [in the Turkish flotilla] that action be taken as close as possible to the blockade zone. It was explained that this was operationally impossible, however certainly in this case, when there is only one ship, this is possible.”
6:24AM: CNN reports on a training program in Israel that aims to minimize civilian casualties.
About the AuthorAn Australian immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave has been blogging since early 2003.
Filed Under: General