CRACKS IN ISRAEL'S FLOTILLA STORY
- CRACKS IN ISRAEL'S FLOTILLA STORY
By Rev. Ted Pike
NATIONAL PRAYER NETWORK
Israel was so intent on concealing the truth about its terrorist attack on the "Free Gaza" flotilla that it not only cut off all communications from the passengers but confiscated an estimated $3.5 million of their cameras, cell phones, computers, etc., which it refuses to return.
Yet, two invaluable video records of the attack exist. The first is a preliminary report by Al Jazeera TV up to the time two activists had been killed. After that, Israel evidently sabotaged its satellite transmissions.
The second is an hour-long record of the pre-dawn hours of May 31, just before the Israeli attack, by Korean-Brazilian film producer Iara Lee. Unlike all other passengers, she smuggled her video record (in her underwear) to the outside world. (The attack begins 33 minutes into the video.) (Watch it here: "Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara // Raw Footage")
These videos directly contradict Israel's claim that its commandos were innocent victims of violent knife- and baton-wielding passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara. Here are emerging discrepancies:
Israel says its commandos descended from a helicopter initially using only paintball guns for defense and crowd control. Who's afraid of splattering paint? Yet the police and Israeli military do not shoot paint through paintball guns. They fast fire hard rubber balls with velocity enough to cause deep bruising and intense pain, even blindness if a ball hits the eye. Lee's video documents an Israeli attack boat next to the ship, raising a fusillade of such missiles against the ship and passengers. Other reports confirm such aggression was accompanied by tear gas, stun grenades, and flash bombs meant to temporarily blind their victims. Israel's preliminary attack in darkness cannot be considered "non-violent, " as Israel claims.
Before the Al Jazeera video was cut off, it clearly shows one of the commandos who had been lowered from the helicopter brandishing an Uzi silencer-equipped submachine gun. It shoots the 9-mm rounds that the Turkish coroner found in the bodies of the nine slain Turkish defenders. The use of such machine guns could help explain the large number of gunshot wounds in most of the victims, as well as the very high number of those wounded (about 47) by Israeli gunfire.
If Israeli commandos were really intent on minimizing casualties, one shot in the leg would have been enough to incapacitate a baton-wielding assailant. The presence of at least one Uzi, however, indicates it may have been Israel's preferred method of crowd control. The fact that this weapon with silencer is relatively quiet may have made it possible to inflict maximum injury on the most people without drawing unnecessary attention.
Lee's video shows a number of defenders inside the ship clearly reluctant to go outside and face Israeli gunfire. It shows a Turkish defender standing near a porthole that has been shot or knocked out. A moment later, multiple shots, evidently through the porthole, send him to the floor. He crawls away to the left. If indeed he was fired upon, this contradicts Israel's official position that commandos only reluctantly fired in self-defense.
If machine guns weren't the primary means of inflicting so many senseless injuries, there is another possible scenario. Since 9-mm ammunition is fairly light in caliber, soldiers and police are taught to fire it in bursts. The Israelis may have done this not only in defense but into those crowding the decks of the Marmara. While this may be acceptable in warfare, it is emphatically not acceptable on a boat containing 600 virtually unarmed civilians. It suggests that Israel did not view them as "peace activists" but deadly enemies. (Several days earlier, Israel had officially described the entire flotilla as "violent propaganda." )
Lee's video confirms what survivors say: After a white flag of truce was raised, Israeli gunfire and murder continue. It also records the pleas of one of the ships leaders to the Israelis, begging them to desist from further violence. Repeatedly, the ship's loudspeaker blares to the surrounding attack boats, "We have no guns here, we are civilians taking care of injured people. Don't use violence, we need help."
Poignantly, this video shows Muslim medics fervently trying to save the life of a wounded Israeli commando. In contrast, testimony of survivors said Knesset member Haneen Zuabi, aboard the Mavi Marmara, desperately tried to convince the Israeli commandos to allow medical aid for wounded Turks. The Israelis refused, and the victims bled to death.
The above is information entirely derived from two eyewitness videos. Many other witnesses have and are coming forward, claiming that actual live gunfire came from the Israeli attack boats and the helicopter both before and during the raid.
All this overwhelmingly underscores the necessity for a prompt, thorough, and unbiased international investigation -- one that involves in-depth questioning of both IDF forces involved in the raid as well as flotilla survivors. Clearly, Israel has a great deal to hide and will succeed in its evasion if the Obama administration and the UN concede to a phony "in-house" Israeli investigation, supervised by a few western observers handpicked by Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu is very blunt that the purpose of Israel's "unbiased, independent" commission will not be to investigate the facts or even interview IDF forces involved in the raid. Rather, it will be to establish Israel's innocence.
Don't let this happen! Call the United Nations now at 1-212-963-5012. Tell the UN, "Please insist on an unbiased international investigation of Israel's terrorist attack on the 'Free Gaza' flotilla." (More contact information on freegaza.org)
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservat ive watchdog organization.
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