Testimonials from Gaza Flotilla: Soldiers were Ambushed



By: ELAD BENARI  
Published: May 31st 2010
in News » Israel

Video documents hand grenade being thrown at soldiers
Pic: YouTube

The intent of the activists to use violence was expressed in two interviews given to the media by Bülent Yıldırım, Director of IHH (a Turkish NGO which organized the flotilla together with the Free Gaza Movement). In the first interview on NTV, when asked what makes the flotilla critical, Yıldırım responded: “This is because of Israel's aggressive stance, they unnecessarily blew up the whole thing. We checked the area that was declared a fire zone, their ships are loose. They are deceiving the people and the whole world. This is the first time that a country declares its maneuvers without notifying in advance of the exact date. I believe that Israel will have many problems. They are running the fleet against women and children and the elderly. There are representatives here of human rights organizations and the entire world will see what happens here. We really resist we will not allow Israelis to enter here.”

 

In a second interview conducted on TRT, Yıldırım said: “The Israelis think that if they drop as many soldiers as possible, there will be fewer casualties among the activists. This ship also has women and children. The whole world knows it. We will show them what it’s like to get on board. If Israel wants to get on this ship it will run into strong opposition.”

 

International law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel of Hebrew University noted that the IDF’s actions in international waters are legal. In a conversation with Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA), Sabel explained that in a time of conflict, a state can impose an embargo and can carry out embargo activities in international waters. He added that within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if force is used against the forces carrying out the detention, they have every right to act in self defense.

 

Ben-Yishai notes in his testimonial that two errors were made in planning the operation: The first error was the estimate that passengers aboard the Marmara were indeed political activists and members of humanitarian groups who would not resort to brutal violence. The small number of troops – only a few dozens – was not enough to contend with the large group awaiting them.

 

The second error, according to Ben-Yishai, was that commanders did not seriously address the fact that a group of men were expecting the soldiers on the top deck. He adds that tear-gas grenades and smoke grenades could have been hurled from the helicopter to create a screen that would have enabled forces to carry out their mission and thus the assaults could have been avoided.

 

IDF Video showing violence used against soldiers:


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




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