Israel weighed in advance the consequences of its attack against a humanitarian convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip. What were its objectives in triggering a world diplomatic crisis, and why did it defy its Turkish ally as well as its U.S. protector?
The attack launched by three Israeli Saar missile patrol boats on 31 May 2010 against the freedom flotilla in international Mediterranean waters denotes a headlong rush on the part of Tel Aviv.
The freedom flotilla stems from an initiative by human rights activists  , supported by the Turkish government. Its aim was to take humanitarian aid to Gaza and, in so doing, to break the blockade illegally enforced by the Israeli army against more than 1.5 million Gazans.
Under international law, the decision to accost a civilian vessel in international waters is an "act of war". Legally speaking, Israel's acts constitute the appropriation of the vessels and their cargo, the kidnapping of the passengers, murder or possibly even assassination, if one accepts the reports relayed by Turkish television according to which the commandos were in possession of a list of people that had to be eliminated.
This act of war against vessels flying Greek and Turkish flags was carried out to reinforce the blockade, which is itself a violation of international law.