Report: Gaza Aid Flotilla Attacked By Israeli Special Forces, 14 to 19 Killed Over 60 Wounded; Multiple Articles and Videos
Video of Commandos Rappelling Onto Ship/Being Beaten http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/05/31/close-up_footage_of_flotilla_passengers_attacking_israeli_soldiers.html
Longer Version of Raid From Vessel – http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Ddhgt7KY1iQs%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded
Impromptu Al Jazeera Report From Vessel Shortly After Raid – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6lBedrCTTk
Report: Gaza Aid Flotilla Attacked By Israeli Military
At about 4:30 am, Israeli commandos dropped from helicopter onto deck of Turkish ship, immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians. Don’t know fate of the other boats.
At this point, all communications from the flotilla appear to have been stopped. Diplomatic tensions are already beginning to be felt as Turkey has now summoned the Israeli envoy over the flotilla attack. In Turkey, people have reacted withl protests in both Ankara and Istanbul were crowds continue to gather. Earlier, outraged protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul before being pushed back by security sources. An official response has yet to emerge from the Israeli government but an Israeli cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer expressed regret in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio:
The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities.
Yariv Oppenheimer | May 31, 2010
(published in Maariv, Hebrew only)
Even if the fleet to Gaza is irritating and outrageous, a sovereign state cannot treat every act of protest as a terror event that has to end in bloodshed
Tonight Israel marked a new low point in the way it chose to contend with its domestic and external policy dissidents. A state that will not let its citizens protest, demonstrate and demand justice, a state that is busy composing loyalty tests for its citizens and passing laws to limit the freedom of expression, failed again in the real test and stopped a protest fleet of civilian ships at the cost of more than ten lives.
The fleet that left Turkey a few days ago managed to anger even me. Hundreds of pro-Hamas activists challenged Israel blatantly and outrageously. Not a word of censure of the Hamas government, not a word about Gilad Shalit and not a word about the desire for peace. Nonetheless, a sovereign state cannot treat every show of protest, however outrageous and irritating it is, as a terror event that has to end in bloodshed. Instead of using the fleet to generate an internal Israeli discussion about the effectiveness of the policy of the siege of Gaza and its moral and political implications for Israel, all of the government spokesmen chose to focus on the handful of activists on the ships and grace them with the title of existential threats to Israel’s security. From here to unnecessary bloodshed the path was short.
It is not the soldiers’ fault, nor the commanders’ nor the heads of the IDF’s. Israeli society as a whole is responsible for the grim results of the IDF takeover of the protest ships. The radicalization of Israeli society is yielding its fruit. The message to the soldiers and police is crystallizing. When Arabs are involved in an activity, the hand on the trigger is light. Determination boards the ship while sensitivity stays in the water.
But have no fear, the domestic Israeli propaganda machine began to work and in just a few hours every Israeli will be recounting how Hamas helicopters took over a Jewish ship and shot illegal immigrants in all directions. With the use of our repression mechanisms and the encouragement of the IDF spokesman we will again dissociate from reality and the world and manufacture our own unique script in which we are the victims and the whole world is against us as usual. Will the outcome of tonight’s confrontation end with an official commission of inquiry? No chance.
Israel justifies its brutal and violent image
The price for the unfortunate results of the fleet will be paid primarily by the families of those who were killed at sea last night. Next in line to pay the price will be the residents of Israel who want peace and the end of the conflict with all their hearts, and who wish to stop the cycle of bloodshed and live in a saner country. We, the silent majority, watch with despair as Israel with its own actions justifies the brutal and violent image it acquired in the last years and gives our biggest enemies in Hamas and Iran a reason to rejoice.
If the miserable naval clash had any winners, they are in Tehran, in the bunkers of Beirut and in the Hamas headquarters in Gaza. The Hamas government succeeded with the Israeli government’s active support to receive international recognition, to gain the support of the Arab world and to be seen as a hero standing up to Israel.
The enemies of peace and the extremists on both sides can again find reasons to attack each other and deepen the hatred and hostility between Jews and Arabs in Israel and outside of it. Again the moderates on both sides are silenced and the voice of reason is drowned out by the voices of incitement and hatred. Without a loud voice of protest by a patriotic Israeli public calling on its leaders to change course, we will all find ourselves in a morally and politically decadent country, slowly sinking into the depths.
Israel completes towing Gaza flotilla to Ashdod port
Israel detains at least 32 activists upon arrival, hospital some 34; Turkish-flagged ship stormed by Israel Navy last to arrive at port.
The Turkish-flagged ship carrying international activists bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza docked at the Ashdod port on Monday evening, nearly 16 hours after it was stormed by Israel Navy commandos in what turned into a deadly raid.
The Mavi Marmara was the last of the six-ship flotilla to be towed into the port, and its 600 passengers were kept on board while Israel Police sappers conducted a thorough examination of the vessel.
Nine activists aboard the ship were killed and several more wounded in the clashes that erupted with Israel Navy troops at 4 A.M. on Monday. Eight of the Israeli soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously.
The other ships were towed to port over the course of the afternoon, with dozens of the activists detained for refusing to sign Israel’s deportation orders. Only some 25 of the activists agreed to the order.
Israel Prisons Services incarcerated at least 32 of the activists who were aboard the Gaza aid flotilla, at least 16 of them for refusing to identify themselves.
At least two of the activists who were wounded on the ship were detained after refusing treatment at the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. Some 34 of the foreigners were treated hospitals across Israel for their wounds.
Israel has said it will deport the roughly 700 activists in the flotilla. But those who refuse to cooperate will be jailed.
PA cabinet condemns assault on Freedom Flotilla
Ramallah – Ma’an – Reiterating Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s earlier statement, the Palestinian Authority cabinet condemned what it termed the “Israeli criminal attack” on the Freedom Flotilla and called for the immediate lifting of the blockade on Gaza.
Convening in Ramallah, the cabinet issued instructions to the PA Foreign Ministry for immediate and enhanced diplomatic contacts with the diplomatic corp at the PA and on all levels, with Arab, Islamic, Non-Aligned Movement countries and UN organizations, including the UN Security Council, “to condemn this crime [raid on aid convoy] and effectively act to guarantee a lift of the siege on the Gaza Strip,” a statement read.
The 43rd Commemoration of Israeli occupation
The cabinet called on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories and in the diaspora “for further solidarity, focused efforts and determination to continue the peaceful resistance and struggle to achieve the national objective of ending the occupation and establishing the independent Palestinian State with east Jerusalem as its capital, despite the escalated Israeli aggressive and racist policies targeting the land and the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and especially in Jerusalem.
PA ministers said they condemned “Israeli persistence on legislating its prolonged occupation and escalating its practices against our people, most recently were the planned setting of fire of Palestinian property, executed by settlers, in Nahalin, Sair, Tal Rumeida and Assira al Qabaliya, Beit Iksa, Iraq Burin, Kufur Labad … This in addition to continued Israeli army raids on the Gaza Strip and the oppression of peaceful anti wall protests.”
Racist Israeli legislation
The PA cabinet condemned the series of racist laws ratified by the Israeli Kenesset recently, which aim at imposing further restrictions on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. The cabinet stressed that the Israeli Kenesset consent to discussing such laws is in itself a violation of all democratic values and legislating oppressive practices, disregarding humanitarian international law and basic human rights and is a clear violation to the Geneva 4th Convention.
The cabinet praised the WHO General Assembly decision to form a fact-finding mission to investigate the health situation of sick prisoners in Israeli prisons.
And on the occasion of the Child International Day on Tuesday the cabinet called for the release of 300 minor prisoners in Israeli prisons, and on Israel to abide by international law and the Child Protection Act by stopping all violations towards our children prisoners.
Settlement goods boycott
The cabinet approved the formation of the Karama National Fund for Employment (Dignity Fund), to be finally ratified in the next session. Ministers considered the decision an “official, national and moral responsibility” and means to counter the challenge of implementing the Palestinian law that prohibits settlement produce, considers them illegal products, banned from usage and subject to fines upon handling, as well as prohibiting providing services or products to settlements.
The cabinet stressed its full commitment to seek job opportunities for workers who would stop working in settlements through an incentive plan, projects and incentives to private sector to absorb the workers and provide training and rehabilitation opportunities.
The cabinet also approved the Investment Promotion Law and presented it to the President for ratification, with the aim of presenting further incentives to encourage investments in various economic sectors and implementing the partnership with private sector and creating the proper atmosphere for developing the Palestinian economy and better restructuring of investment incentives. Especially by medium and small sized enterprises as well as contribute to supporting the steadfastness of the people.
|Angry Palestinians Take to Streets; Israeli Occupation Forces on High Alert|
In response to the Israeli massacre against the “Freedom” flotilla on Monday and amid high alert declared by the Israeli occupation forces, angered Palestinians in the 48 occupied territories took to the streets, as the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee declared a one-day strike on Tuesday.
Hundreds of Palestinians flooded onto the streets of the northern city of Nazareth to protest against the bloody attack, which left at least 19 activists martyred and other 60 wounded.
The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee declared a one-day strike would take place on Tuesday, and called for protests across the country.
Shortly after news of operation became public, Israel occupation police raised the level of high alert in the West Bank and closed several other areas east of occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and lands occupied in 1948.
Speaking to army radio, Industry and Trade Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer called on the Palestinians population to “react in a reasonable manner” to the attack.