Friday, June 4, 2010

Detailed Compiled Eyewitness Accounts Confirm Cold-Blooded Murder and Executions by Israeli Military

Global Research Editor's Note

On June 1st, the President of the UN Security Council issued a statement on behalf of the Council.

"The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The Council, in this context, condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least ten civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families."
No formal UNSC Resolution was voted upon, condemning Israel for conducting what is tantamount to an act of piracy in international waters, in violation of the International Law of the Sea and the UN Charter.

The following text by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) presents a preliminary compilation of the evidence. In the weeks and months ahead, Global Research will be preparing a comprehensive dossier on Israel's attack in international waters directed against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Michel Chossudovsky, 3 June 2010 

After carefully studying the eyewitness accounts, it can be concluded that "the fighting" on the Gaza Peace Flotilla between heavily armed Israeli commandos and unarmed civilians was deliberately instigated by the Israeli military.

The actions of the Israeli commandos ordered by the Israeli government were characterized by cold-blooded murder and executions. According to testimony of the passengers, individuals who surrendered were killed, while a white flag was flying. Because some activists in critical condition were refused aid by the Israelis, they also died.

The civilian passengers of the Mavi Maramara included academics, parliamentarians, artists, doctors, lawyers, journalists, and representatives of human rights organizations. Amongst them was the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem. Israel and the U.S. also pressured Cyprus into preventing 30 parliamentarians from across the E.U. and a Jewish Holocaust survivor from boarding the Gaza Peace Flotilla.

Confronted by the Israeli commandos, the civilian passengers were involved in desperate acts of self-defence, to protect their lives after fellow passengers had already been killed by Israeli sniper fire. All members of the Gaza Peace Flotilla from the German parliamentarians to Turkish aid workers have testified to this.  

The Israeli commandos, through their actions, deliberately triggered these acts of self-defence, with a view to demonizing the passengers and justifying Israeli brutality. 
The Israeli forces initially used automatic rifles before paintball guns. 

According to the Algerian activists on board, some of the passengers managed to resist, but eventually surrendered when the Turkish captain's young son was held hostage by the Israelis in a second wave of attacks. 

From the passengers' accounts, there is a possibility that some of the casualties also included Algerian nationals. It is already known that one American and several Turks were killed by the IDF.
There was no "bad intelligence" on the part of the Israeli military as claimed by the Israeli media and Israeli apologists. The Israeli cabinet had several advanced meetings prior to the multi-national Gaza Freedom Flotilla's departure. The Israelis could also have prevented the ships from running without boarding. 

The witness accounts suggest that the attacks were part of a carefully planned military intelligence operation. Israel even had naval practices to stop the humanitarian vessels from reaching the Gaza Strip.
All the wea
pons allegedly used by the passengers were part of the ship's "standard equipment", including repair tools and kitchen utensils. These were gathered by the IDF to create a fake and fabricated account of what happened. 

So-called "video and picture evidence" is provided in a Ministry of Foreign Affairs dossier:
The Israeli forces gathered the tools and equipment belonging to the ship.
The claims that weapons had been smuggled on board to confront the IDF is pure fabrication. 

A careful look at the pictures suggests that the IDF gathered knives from the kitchen and other tools from the ship. This is obvious from the kitchen knife sharpener. One of the knives in the pictures presented by Israel is a traditional khanjar knife, which could belong to the Omani or Yemenite parliamentarian member(s) of the Gaza Peace Flotilla. 

Vests with clear Red Crescent signs used by medics and humanitarian workers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent  were claimed to be proof that the group of international humanitarians were violent supporters of terrorism too.

In regards to the videos, they are selectively presented and the videos should be disclosed in full. If the Israelis were sincere they would have disclosed the full tapes and not selected scenes with activists fighting.

It should be noted that according to eye witnesses, the IDF systematically targeted international journalists first. If the IDF had nothing to hide, why did they confiscate all video and audio recording devices? It is cleare that the Israeli military was systematically preventing the international journalists from showing what really happened.
One of the Turkish organizations, IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi/Humanitarian Aid Fund), tied to this multi-national flotilla of humanitarian ships from all over Europe and the Mediterranean has also been accused of being tied to Al-Qaeda.

The Turkish government has responded and has labelled the Israeli officials as outright liars. In an interview with Bulent Yildirm, an IHH official, conducted in English by Hassan Ghani the IHH official talks about only having humanitarian intentions and says that he hopes common sense and moderation will prevail in the Israeli cabinet.
In the interview the IHH official also says that other vessels (most probably Israeli commercial vessels) were traveling in Israeli's so-called "military exclusion zone." See minute 3:30 of the interview:

Israel violated international law. It did not even wait to see if the ships would enter its so-called "military exclusion zone" before acting.
According to reports from freed Kuwaiti parliamentarians and activists, the ships were going to negotiate their entry with Israel.

Concluding Remarks

One last point, the U.S. entered the First World War when a R.M.S. Lusitania was attacked by a German submarine or u-boat.

Attacking ships and civilians in international waters is an act of war and illegal under international law. It is ironic that Joseph Meadors, one of the members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which was attacked, was a former U.S. Navy sailor who was a survivor of the U.S.S. Liberty attacked by Israel in 1967. This will be the second time he has been attacked in international waters by the IDF.
Israel's actions go far beyond the violation of international law. The IDF's  military spokeswoman, Avital Liebowitz, even refers to the Gaza Strip as being Israeli territory. She articulates what Israel really thinks, but does not say internationally. Israel is a danger to itself and to global security. Israel is also preparing itself for a major war directed against Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. There is no way Israel could defeat Iran by itself and without the use of nuclear weapons.

Worldwide, people must demand justice for the Palestinians and for an end to the occupation of Arab lands. They must also mobilize to prevent the launching of a broader war in the Middle East.

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