May 31, 2010

#Freedom Flotilla - Al Jazeera Footage from the attack

On twitter:  #FreedomFlotilla

Freedom Flotilla attacked and unarmed civilians killed ...

The Israeli army has [again] attacked, killed and injured unarmed civilians, but this time it's a boat-full of international "activists" of all ages and all professions and not "some unnamed" Palestinian civilians, who more easily can be be accused of being members of militant Hamas groups and shot in self defense by the IDF ... And the international outcry will hopefully be resounding from Europe through to USA who also had citizens on board..

Israel is now saying, that IDF where met with violence, when they tried to take over the ship, but when the videos are released; you'll see, that IDF rappel, aim and shoot at civilians sleeping …

"The Flotilla of civilians carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza has been attacked by Israeli forces roughly 65 km Gaza’s coast… that’s international waters.

Al Jazeera, with reporter on board, says:

Up to 16 people were killed and more than 30 people injured when troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli Army Radio said.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli Army Radio said soldiers opened fire “after confronting those on board carrying sharp objects”.

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the ships.

They also said the ships were now being towed to the Israeli town of Haifa, instead of Ashdod to avoid waiting journalists.

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Israeli intervention

Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.

They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.

“All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation,” he said.


Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action.

Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted “Damn Israel” as police blocked them.

Turkey is also reported to have summoned the Israeli ambassador to lodge a protest.

Meanwhile, Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has dubbed the Israeli action as “barbaric”.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and several European legislators, are with the flotilla, aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli embargo.

But Israel has said it will not allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip and vowed to stop the six ships from reaching the coastal Palestinian territory.

The flotilla had set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and aimed to reach Gaza by Monday morning.

Israel said the boats were embarking on “an act of provocation” against the Israeli military, rather than providing aid, and that it had issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.

From the Flotilla last night:

(Cyprus, May 31, 2010) At 11:00 pm Cyprus time and in international waters off the coast of Israel, the boats were contacted by the Israeli navy. “Who are you and where are you going?” Our reply was that we were part of a flotilla and we were going to Gaza to deliver humanitarian supplies.

On the radar, the boats could see three Israeli war ships shadowing us, and 15 minutes later, a silent aircraft hovered over the flotilla. One of our Hebrew speakers had found Israel’s strategy and posted it to us. It stated, “You will be boarded by highly trained, very efficient and very SILENT commandos. They will use silent inflatable boats to get to our boats and both try to board our boats directly from the inflatables and by dropping divers into the water to climb onto the boats,” so people were preparing for them to come up and over the sides of the ships.

Lubna Marsawa, Free Gaza’s organizer on the Turkish passenger boat said in outrage, “Very few times in history has a flotilla delivering humanitarian goods been welcomed by military war ships.” " -
( Quote from "In Gaza")

This is a call to the world from the people on the boats. “We are a civilian people doing what our governments have refused to do, challenge Israel’s right to collectively punish 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza by blockading their right to their own sea. This flotilla is bringing construction and educational supplies the people of Gaza and are being met by Israeli warships.”

Join live on "Witness Gaza"
(All videos has been taken down - And I haven't been able to find any working links for photos or videos - so I have included the initial video telling about the flotilla and what cargo they had on board - Before the Israeli spin tells you, that the boats were filled with weapons and bomb making devises and therefore a threat to the security of Israel !!)

Read the liberal Israeli news paper site; Haaretz for further information …