Testimonials from Gaza Flotilla: Soldiers were Ambushed

Published: May 31st 2010
in News » Israel

Video documents hand grenade being thrown at soldiers
Pic: YouTube

In the wake of the deadly raid by IDF forces on the ships participating in the Gaza flotilla which resulted in the deaths of 15 pro-Palestinian activists, testimonials have been published which indicate that the activists created a battle atmosphere even before the soldiers attempted to take over the ships.


In a personal testimony published on Ynet, Ron Ben-Yishai described the events which took place on the Marmara ship, on which the deadly raid occurred. Ben-Yishai says that while minor resistance from the passengers was expected, when the soldiers tried to tie a rope to the top deck in order for soldiers to descend onto it, the rope was wrested away by activists and tied to an antenna.


Ben-Yishai continues and says that as navy commandoes slid down to the ship they were immediately attacked bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles. The soldiers were armed only with paintball rifles which were not enough to restrain the activists who beat up the troops and attempted to take away their weapons. He emphasized that while the soldiers were equipped with handguns, they were instructed to only use them under extreme circumstances.


The testimony continues to describe how 30 activists continue to beat up 30 commandoes on the deck of the ship. The troops responded by throwing stun grenades. Soon after, one of the soldiers was nabbed, his handgun was wrested from him and he was thrown to the lower deck. The soldier sustained a head wound and lost consciousness. It was only at this point, says Ben-Yishai, that the soldiers asked for permission to use live fire. Following approval from their commander, the soldiers shot at the rioters’ legs in hopes to neutralize them. The activists fired back, injuring several soldiers in their knees and stomachs.


Another report by Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch indicates that the activists created what is described as “war atmosphere” already a day before the confrontation. The report shows documentation by Al-Jazeera TV in which the men on board the flotilla are shown shouting a well-known Islamic cry invoking the killing of Jews in battle. Al-Jazeera also reported that the flotilla participants said they would use “resistance” against Israel: “The flotilla includes hundreds of Arab and foreign solidarity activists from more than 40 countries ... They have announced their determination to use resistance to any attempt at piracy by the Israeli occupation.”


Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV also reported on this issue, and quoted Dr. Abd Al-Fatah Shayyeq Naaman, lecturer in Shari'ah law at a university in Sanaa, as saying: “Yesterday I followed the news agencies and they conveyed Zionist threats to stop the convoy and prevent it from entering Gaza; on the other side, those with faith and will once again call out upon hearing the reports of the threats: '[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!'"[…] One woman standing on the ship said that now we are awaiting one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or the beaches of Gaza.”


Related articles: (gaza aid flotilla, idf, raid, testimonials)

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