Israel attacks in gruesome manner and killed 16 peace activists on board the aid ship “Flotilla”. The attacked was planned as they did not want any aid to reach Gaza. This is one of the most worst massacre carried out by a army on an unarmed Aid Ship. Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday, killing nine passengers in a botched raid that provoked international outrage and a diplomatic crisis.
President Barack Obama voiced “deep regret” over the raid and “expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances” surrounding the incident.
The activists were headed to Gaza to draw attention to the blockade, which Israel and Egypt imposed after the militant Hamas group seized the territory of 1.5 million Palestinians in 2007.
There were conflicting accounts of what happened early Monday, with activists claiming the Israelis opened fire without provocation and Israel insisting its forces fired in self defense.
The killing took place in international waters. Among the injured, leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch in the occupied territories Sheikh Raed Salah whose injuries are serious, according to reports.
Israeli marine commandos had opened fire as they stormed one of the ships the (Mavi Marmara). Israeli television justified the commandos’ massacre claiming that the soldiers were attacked with knives and axes, but did not elaborate. The Israeli censor blocks all reports on the activists murdered on the flotilla.
According to a reporter on one of the ships, the Israeli occupation army raided all vessels from the sea and air at the same time and informed all of the passengers that they were under arrest.
The Israeli vessels, the report said, attacked the flotilla in international waters with aerial reinforcement, using gas. A Qatari television channel broadcast live the dramatic images from the ships, with Hamas spokespeople giving interviews and vowing to punish Israel for “the new crime”.
The images showed Commando soldiers with their faces covered. A fighter in uniform, wearing a gas mask, tried to block the camera with his hand, while more and more troops raided the ship after sliding down from a helicopter using a rope.
One of the passengers on the ship called out to the Navy vessels, “Don’t attack us. We are unarmed civilians. There are injured people onboard.”
The calls were first made in English, and were later joined by Knesset Member Hanin Zuabi (Balad), who called out to the ships in Hebrew.
Turkey summoned the Israeli ambassador to the Turkish foreign ministry Monday. “The ambassador (Gabby Levy) was summoned to the foreign ministry. We will convey our reaction in the strongest terms,” the diplomat, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
Nine victims from today are from Turkey while the rest from various countries. Israel upon its crime closed all Gaza crossings while the boats are being taken to Haifa port.
The heinous crime perpetrated today reminds us of the USS liberty June 8, 1967. In that action dozens of American soldiers were killed as Israel attacked their naval boat.