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Friday, February 11, 2011

Turkey's absurd flotilla report

Turkey today released its report on the flotilla incident. I haven't yet found the full report, but the conclusions are laughable. Here are some:
3. There were no firearms on board the ships.
Well, there was at least one, as an IDF soldier got shot with a bullet that didn't come from the IDF. Bullet casings were also found.
4. Prior to the convoy’s departure, an understanding was reached among Turkish, Israeli and American officials that the convoy would eventually steer towards the Egyptian port of Al-Arish, when faced with compelling opposition. Events demonstrated that Israel did not abide by this understanding.
This is a completely new claim. Certainly the captain nor the organizers ever said they would accept going to anywhere but Gaza - they repeatedly said the opposite when communicating with the IDF. In addition, the IDF told the flotilla repeatedly that they have the option of going to Ashkelon and getting the aid all sent to Gaza - why wouldn't they have asked them to go to El Arish? This is a really fishy story to pop up out of nowhere, and it shouldn't take long to get US or Israeli clarification.
5. No attempt was made by the Israeli forces to visit and search the vessels before taking any other action.

13. Prior to their attack, the Israeli forces did not proceed with standard warning practices, i.e. firing across the bow, to indicate an imminent use of force.

14. Israeli forces initially tried to board the Mavi Marmara from zodiacs. At this stage, the Israeli forces fired the first shots.
This is ridiculous. The videos show very clearly that the passengers were throwing items onto the Israeli boats before they attempted to board, so at least on the Mavi Marmara it was clear that they could not board peacefully. We've also seen videos of the IHH members brandishing iron pipes to stop any attempt to board from the sea, well before the helicopters were deployed.

The other boats in the flotilla were boarded peacefully because they did not offer any resistance. The Turks are knowingly lying.
15. The nature and magnitude of the Israeli attack caused panic among the passengers who, in fear for their lives, reacted in self-defence.
Reacted? They had already prepared themselves with slingshots, broken bottles, pre-cut iron bars and chains. Doesn't sound like a "reaction" to me!
17. The Israeli forces opened fire with live ammunition from the zodiacs and helicopters onto the passengers on deck, resulting in the first casualties.
They fired stun grenades. Shooting from a helicopter with 9mm guns does not make any sense, and, again, none of the videos show anything close to these allegations - and the video smuggled out by the activists showed the helicopters very clearly.
19. Israeli soldiers fast-roped down to the Mavi Marmara from helicopters. Three were subdued by the passengers. They were taken to the lower decks where they were treated for their non-lethal injuries.
"Subdued" must be the Turkish word for "mercilessly attacked with knives and iron bars." "Taken" must be the Turkish word for "kidnapped." I don't yet know what the Turkish word for "throwing off the deck" is.
22. The Israeli forces attacked the other ships as well. Violence by Israeli soldiers occurred on all the ships of the convoy.
What a great investigation to discover these new injuries so many months later!
26. Throughout the hours-long journey to Ashdod, the passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara, including the Captain, and some on the other ships were subjected to severe physical, verbal and psychological abuses.

28. Throughout the ordeal, passengers from virtually all the nationalities represented in the convoy were indiscriminately and brutally victimized by Israeli forces.
I can't wait to read the details on these.