Following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Hassan Ahmad Omar, member of the Egyptian Association for International Law, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on May 18, 2010.
Interviewer: A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the [“Freedom Fleet”] campaign was a provocation and a violation of Israeli law. How are we to understand this, from a legal perspective?
Dr. Hassan Ahmad Omar: Resolution 3103 of the UN General Assembly, issued in 1973, affirmed the basic rights of combatants against foreign, racist, occupying forces. According to this resolution, all the counties in the world have the right – and even the obligation – to aid the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in the form of food supplies and weapons. Moreover, the time has come to implement Resolution 194, regarding the return of the Palestinian refugees.
These convoys could carry food supplies and weapons, as well as Palestinian refugees, who want to return to their homeland.
Israel, which imposes a siege on the Gaza Strip, cannot talk about legal channels for providing aid. In my view, Turkey...
Interviewer: But such channels exist, don’t they?
Dr. Hassan Ahmad Omar: The siege that Israel is imposing... It is necessary to provide Gaza not only with food, water, and building supplies, but also with weapons. Weapons must be provided, because these are weapons of revolutionaries, and aid must be provided to the Gaza Strip.
It is necessary [to help] the refugees return to the Gaza Strip, as well as to the Acre region, because according to the partition plan, it belongs to the Arab state of Palestine.
The various countries have an obligation to provide these weapons and food to Gaza, and [to enable] the return of the refugees.
Turkey could revive the commission consisting of Turkey, France, and the US, which was mentioned in Resolution 194 regarding the return of the refugees, thus facilitating the return of the refugees to Acre – at least the half million refugees from Lebanon – in accordance with article 6 of Security Council Resolution 1559.
These aid campaigns should not be restricted to food and water. The [ships] could also include returning refugees and weapons for the Palestinian revolutionaries.
I would like to recommend that the brothers in Turkey use the hovercraft as a means of transportation.
Interviewer: But all these proposals require official international support for these ships. Does this campaign enjoy such support?
Dr. Hassan Ahmad Omar: UN Resolution 3103 obliges these countries to provide aid to the Gaza Strip. The hovercraft can carry all the cars and all the aid. Since the Gaza port is not ready, the amphibian hovercraft can reach the very sands of Gaza.
In all future aid campaigns for Gaza we can use the hovercraft. I have approached the International Islamic Bank, and proposed that they buy hovercrafts, and give them to countries that want to provide aid to Gaza.