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I Call The “Sabotage” of GAZA-Bound Ships Attempted Murder

{Reprint from June, 2011 Salem-News)

I Call The “Sabotage” of GAZA-Bound Ships Attempted Murder

by M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. Salem-News.com

In the past week, three (and perhaps more) acts have occurred against ships docked in both Greece and Turkey. These acts are being called “sabotage” in the media, however, they go a bit further than mere destruction to prevent the ships from sailing toward Gaza.

In each case, propeller shafts have, in a sophisticated manner, been cut in such a way as to allow the ships to actually leave port. While it is impossible to insure that the damage is not caught before further damage ensues or that the full impact of destruction intended will be realized, there exists strong likelihood that some of the tampered boats will become death traps for their passengers and crews.

It is one matter to shear a propeller shaft thus halting any movement of the vessel. It is entirely another to strategically weaken the shaft so as to have it fail once the vessel has traveled a distance. In all three cases, the shafts were not sheared completely.

What potential harm exists should a shaft and propeller buckle and snap as a result of this weakening? I asked a friend who has worked on boats since he was 10 years old and had not only owned and operated a small fleet of fishing vessels for over 30 years, but has hand-built 5 boats so far and is currently at work on number six. His response was both disheartening and frightening.

Much, he said, depends on the configuration of the boat, placement of the shaft (or shafts), strut design and stability, and other factors. Vibration from bent/damaged propellers and/or shafts have direct influence on struts and bearings and can quickly cause engine failure and even fire. Vibrations can shake loose many important structural features on a ship and have direct effect upon the hull. He noted cases where shafts thrust forward breaking through seals and rupturing the engine block and where struts are torn loose causing serious structural damage, leaking, and sinking. Shafts have been found to snap and shoot directly through the hull, again causing leaks and sinking. Propellers have torn through hulls as well.

Propellers and shafts are prone to damage being that they, along with rudders, are the most exposed features on a boat. Typical failures are caught by good operators who know what to do before the worst damage occurs. The type of “sabotage” involved in the Stay Human vessels is something quite different.

Accusations have been levied against the Israeli government for these acts and it is hardly a far-fetched notion to believe they are correct. Who else would go to the trouble to send divers into foreign ports, violating their sovereignty, with the types of equipment needed to cause such damage, not shear the shafts completely, and do all this in a stealth manner?

Israel has a history of violating the sovereignty of other nations, planting well trained and equipped agents, and inflicting mortal harm. Amazingly, they claim to have done so to protect the sovereignty of their nation! In the case of the Stay Human vessels, Israel has daily made threats to stop them in whatever way possible. No one else has done so. Too, Israel knows that no matter what crime it commits, Big Daddy USA will coddle them and not allow prosecution. Remember the USS Liberty?

A nation that weekly fires upon and tortures unarmed women, men and children certainly would have no qualms about sinking a few boatloads of unarmed humanitarians seeking freedom from Israel’s apartheid constraints.

Over the past two weeks (and for the past 60 years) Israel has concocted every manner of lie and deceit conceivable to justify their sick and destructive behaviour. It matters not that their lies are, today, quick to be exposed in the media. They just keep churning and spinning. In the past few years, however, the world has grown weary of their act (thanks in large part to the brave people of the Flotillas and the activists working along side the Palestinian people, filming the onslaught and writing about it, talking about it, living it) and are not going to idly stand by any longer.

Israel is on notice. The Flotillas will not stop. The writers and artists and activists will not stop. The world will not stop until you are stopped and brought to justice for all your crimes against humanity… not the least of which are the attempted murders of the passengers and crews of the beautiful Freedom Flotillas. Stay Human!! Viva Palestina!!

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