Monday, August 16, 2010

Flotilla Survivor Criticizes Israelis

Retired U.S. Army colonel turned peace activist Ann Wright is back home in Hawaii. On May 31, she took part in a flotilla attempting to run an Israeli blockade to take humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

“I went on the flotilla because I had been to Gaza three times in 2009 after the Israeli attack and had seen the conditions there. To go on the flotilla was another way to bring attention to the international community about the plight of Palestinians. It's immoral and illegal to have blockades like this as collective punishment on people,” Wright said.

The Israelis said the flotilla was smuggling arms to Hamas, which they consider a terrorist organization.

Israeli commandos boarded the ships in international water but claim the maritime blockade is legal during a time of armed conflict.

Wright said as a former Army officer she was well aware of the Israeli Defense Forces capabilities.

“I knew they were very capable of extraordinary violence and we saw it happen,” Wright said.

She recalled the terror of the attack.

“They came with percussive grenades being thrown through the windows, through the doors, being followed by guys firing. They were shooting people with Tasers and stun guns immediately. That was followed by lethal fire,” Wright said.


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