Somehow, I had missed this pretty important video, made and uploaded to YouTube on May 27th - days before the raid on the flotilla.
It shows clearly that the IDF had no intent whatsoever to hurt any of the activists, and that they only expected the usual kind of non-violent resistance - spitting, cursing, throwing cigarettes at the soldiers. The soldiers are exhorted to act professionally and humanely.
The difference between what happened on the Mavi Marmara and the other ships shows this was indeed the case.
The Story of the Looped Tzitzit
3 hours ago