Shurat HaDin Warns Satellite Communication Giant Inmarsat Over Gaza Flotilla
Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center
10 Hata'as St. Ramat Gan, 52512 Israel
Phone: 972-3-7514175 | Fax: 972-3-7514174
We are continuing our legal battle against the Islamic terrorists and
extremist NGOs organizing the naval flotilla to the Hamas controlled Gaza
Strip. Last week we targeted the international insurance companies that
provide maritime insurance to the extremists' ships demanding that they
terminate their services. Several of the companies, including Lloyds of
London, wrote us back saying they would not insure the flotilla boats.
Today, Shurat HaDin sent warning letters to the UK and US based global
satellite company INMARSAT, stating that it may be liable for massive
damages and criminal prosecution if it provides communication services to
ships used by suspected terror organizations in the Gaza flotilla planned
for late June.
The legal warning, sent to both INMARSAT and its senior corporate officers
in the US and UK, asserts that under US law, INMARSAT and its officers will
be open to charges of aiding and abetting terrorism if it provides satellite
services to the Gaza-bound ships. The Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas, an
Islamist movement designated by the US, the UK, Israel and the European
Union as a terrorist group, and is subject to an Israeli naval blockade.
INMARSAT is one of the largest satellite telecommunications companies in the
world and the main provider of maritime communication services. Ships such
as the Mavi Marmara rely upon INMARSAT’s network to communicate with ports,
naval authorities and other vessels and cannot sail without it.
Today's warning letter is based on information available on INMARSAT's
website showing that the company is providing vital satellite communications
services to the Turkish flagged Mavi Marmara vessel, which took part in the
May 2010 flotilla to breach the Gaza blockade. There was a violent battle on
board between armed militants and Israeli SEALs, that resulted in numerous
deaths and injuries. The Mavi Marmara will be leading another flotilla
intending to breach the Gaza blockade in the coming weeks.
We informed INMARSAT that we are acting to prevent the new flotilla of ships
from approaching Gaza and carrying out a repeat of the dangerous
confrontation that took place a year ago. The letter makes it clear that
the company's failure to terminate satellite services to the ships will
result in both criminal and civil liability.
We don't want bloodshed on the sea again. We believe that this is a prime
example of how the private legal sector can help the Israeli Government
prevent terrorism. The law is very strict when it comes to aiding and
abetting terrorism or politically-motivated violence and imposes severe
criminal and civil liability.
As we wrote to INMARSAT that if the satellite company continues to provide
communication services to the Mavi Marmara during the upcoming flotilla,
INMARSAT and its corporate officers will be in violation of US criminal
statutes prohibiting the provision of material support for acts of violence
and terrorism (18 U.S.C. § 2339A and § 2339B) and the provision of material
support for naval expeditions against U.S. allies (18 U.S.C. § 960 and §
962), and will also be held civilly liable for any damages or harm caused by
participants in the flotilla.
We hope that INMARSAT will be responsible and heed our warning.