At around 5 a.m. this morning, the live feed on the IHH ship showed helicopters floating above the desk of the Mavi Manara, and paratroopers rappelling onto the decks. Israeli army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibowitz claimed that the navy confiscated light weapons and handguns from the flotilla. 'We basically encountered a lynch,' she said. 'We had to control this violence.' All evidence suggests that Leibowitz is lying. The boats and passengers were rigorously checked for guns by international monitors before leaving the port. According to FGM, the commandoes opened fire from their machine guns practically as soon as they hit the deck.
'Under darkness of night, Israeli commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck,' the FGM report says. Some of those they shot were asleep.
Critics of violent and aggressive actions by the Israeli military are often told that "Israel has the right to defend itself." It seems, from this action, that Israel's claim to a a "right to defend itself" is the same right claimed by a rapist to justify attacking those who try to help his victims.
And piracy on the high seas seems to have spread from the south to the north of the Suez Canal. Any lingering doubts that Israel is a rogue and terrorist state should now be dispelled completely.
Some other bloggers' responses:
Neil Clark: Israeli forces ‘kill up to 19 people’ in raid on Gaza aid ship: "can you imagine Hague and co's response if Iran had violently stormed ships in international waters on which there were 28 British civilians?"
would it have been like this?
CalumCarr on .... Whatever: Israel: Hague’s, UK Government’s Weasel Words: "The Foreign Secretary William Hague has called on the Government of Israel to open all crossings for aid to enter Gaza and deplored the loss of life during the interception of the Gaza Flotilla.
In a statement this morning the Foreign Secretary said:
' I deplore the loss of life during the interception of the Gaza Flotilla. Our Embassy is in urgent contact with the Israeli Government. We are asking for more information and urgent access to any UK nationals involved.
We have consistently advised against attempting to access Gaza in this way, because of the risks involved. But at the same time, there is a clear need for Israel to act with restraint and in line with international obligations. It will be important to establish the facts about this incident, and especially whether enough was done to prevent deaths and injuries."
Tell Obama: free the human rights activists, conduct an impartial investigation: A Jewish Voice for Peace.