The IDF prepares for future flotillas

The IDF (Zahal)’s Operation’s Branch is completing a written order of how to treat future flotillas in the most ethical way possible

Date: 22/05/2011, 9:39 PM     Author: Yarden Eliezer and Bar Josephine Dadon of Bamahane magazine

The IDF (Zahal) is preparing for the next flotilla. The army’s Operations Branch recently wrote up an order detailing how different bodies must behave in the event of a flotilla sailing toward Israel’s shores. “The order will contribute to the army’s ability to handle the next flotilla in a way better than the last,” said a senior officer in the Operations Branch.

The order, used for soldiers in terms of flotillas, is based on conclusions gleaned and lessons learned from the events of the Marmara, and explains to each body that may be involved it must behave upon the arrival of the flotilla. Among others, the order is focused on how to behave with those sailing on the flotilla and the objects they carry when a ship anchors near the shores of the country.

“The protocol document is meant to help take care of this type of event. It explains how to do so according to international law and it follows ethical and judicial criteria,” added the officer.

The new protocol document, which will be put into use these coming days, details the authorities of each organization and offices involved in the process of responding to a flotilla. It splits up the responsibilities very clearly. The Operations Branch explained that the problems which arose in the past came from a lack of a central figure responsible for the care of those arrested, from the moment they got arrest warrants to their banishment from the country.

“The order is very important in terms of the law,” explained the officer. “For example, when you separate a person from his equipment you are liable to be charged for it, which happened on the Marmara. The new order is supposed to improve our image abroad. With the help of these instructions we will know how to lawfully defend each activity we do in a judicial and ethical way.”

In addition, within the framework of the multiyear plan, a war doctrine will be written to explain cooperation between the air force and the navy. The doctrines written in the department create a common language, ethics and rules important to the activities of the army when dealing with future flotillas. According to the Operations Branch, the doctrine will touch upon the subject of language, terms and ethics in everything that has to do with aerial help and the navy’s duties.