This is really awful. The NY Times is reporting at least 10 murders and Al Jazeera is reporting 16 murders as Israeli Defense Forces attacked the peaceful humanitarian aid vessels bound for Gaza, in international waters I think.
The warships first intercepted the aid flotilla shortly before midnight on Sunday, surprising the boats in international waters, according to activists on one vessel.
Named the Freedom Flotilla, and led by the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement and a Turkish organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi, the convoy of six cargo and passenger boats is the most ambitious attempt yet to break Israel’s three-year blockade of Gaza.
“Two people have been killed on board the Turkish boat and 30 or more were wounded,” said Mary Hughes Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement, speaking to the Reuters news agency. She said Israeli commandos had apparently “descended on the boat from helicopters and took it over.”
An Israeli television station reported the 10 deaths, according to Reuters, an account that was confirmed on Israeli Army Radio, according to Bloomberg News.
The civilian flotilla riders were apparently unarmed:
Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.
Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.
The Israeli Army Radio said soldiers opened fire “after confronting those on board carrying sharp objects”.
Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the ships.
They also said the ships were now being towed to the Israeli town of Haifa, instead of Ashdod to avoid waiting journalists.
Israel’s murders continue. How long will the international community stand for this atrocious face of a barbaric regime?