What is certain is that Free Gaza's characterization of the events is a lie:
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. They fired directly into the crowd of civilians asleep.
YNet's video shows a large crowd of these "peaceful people" with what appear to be metal bars waiting for the soldiers to arrive so they can beat them - which they proceed to do. If that is not life-threatening, I don't know what is.
Israel has announced that they found other weapons on board, including guns and knives.
The main Turkish "aid" organization, IHH, has clear ties to terror, as can be seen at Harry's Place. The CIA has documented links between that group and extremist groups in Iran and Algeria back in 1996.
A paper from Danish Institute for International Studies speaks about IHH:
[T]he phenomenon of charitable front groups that provide support to Al-Qaida is by no
means exclusively limited to the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed, elsewhere in the Muslim world,
other such entities have been established with near equal success – as in Turkey, with the so called Foundation for Human Rights, Liberties, and Humanitarian Relief (IHH). Turkish
authorities began their own domestic criminal investigation of IHH as early as December
1997, when sources revealed that leaders of IHH were purchasing automatic weapons from
other regional Islamic militant groups.43 IHH’s bureau in Istanbul was thoroughly searched,
and its local officers were arrested. Security forces uncovered an array of disturbing items,
including firearms, explosives, bomb-making instructions, and a “jihad flag.” After analyzing
seized IHH documents, Turkish authorities concluded that “detained members of IHH were
going to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya."
According to a French intelligence report, the terrorist infiltration of IHH extended to its
most senior ranks. The report, written by famed counterterrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere, revealed that IHH President Bulent Yildrim had directly conspired in the mid-1990s to “recruit veteran soldiers in anticipation of the coming holy war [jihad]. In particular, some
men were sent into war zones in Muslim countries in order to acquire combat experience.”45
Furthermore, in the hopes of “obtaining political support from these countries, financial aid
was transferred [on behalf of IHH], as well as caches of firearms, knives, and pre-fabricated
explosives.”46 An examination of IHH’s phone records in Istanbul showed repeated telephone
calls in 1996 to an Al-Qaida guesthouse in Milan and various Algerian terrorist operatives
active elsewhere in Europe – including the notorious Abu el-Ma`ali, who has been subsequently
termed by U.S. officials as a “junior Osama Bin Laden."
During the later Seattle trial of would-be Al-Qaida Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressam, federal
prosecutors called French magistrate Bruguiere to the stand as an expert witness. Bruguiere
testified that IHH had played “[a]n important role” in the Al-Qaida Millenium bomb plot
targeting LAX. Under repeated questioning, Bruguiere insisted that “[t]here’s a rather close
The IHH is an NGO, but it was kind of a type of cover-up… in order to obtainThis was one of the major groups behind the flotilla - a charity group that is a front of Islamic terrorism.
forged documents and also to obtain different forms of infiltration for Mujahideen
in combat. And also to go and gather[recruit] these Mujahideens. And
finally, one of the last responsibilities that they had was also to be implicated or
involved in weapons trafficking.48