Israeli commandos kill at least 2 injure 50. Reuters now reporting that 10 have been killed. al-Jazeera now reporting that 15 16 have been killed. Israeli TV confirms 16 dead. Maybe as many as 20 – 25.
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Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza, according to a Turkish aid agency being quoted by Turkish media.
At least two 16 people were killed and more than 30 50 people injured when Israeli troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday. The flotilla was attacked when it was 65km off the Gaza coast. Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, appeared to show armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead. al-Jazeera
ISRAELI YNET NEWS reporting: An IDF soldier was moderately injured during the raid after being stabbed in the stomach. Three injured people were evacuated by helicopter to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. According to an IDF source, “The sail’s participants were not innocent and used violence against the soldiers. They were waiting for the forces’ arrival.”
The NTV network has been broadcasting images of injured passengers on board one of the ships since the morning hours. Some were evacuated on boats and helicopters. The al-Jazeera network reported that hundreds of soldiers took over the vessels taking part in the sail simultaneously.
According to a reporter on one of the ships, the Israel Defense Forces 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”.
Israeli Defense officials say soldiers were attacked with rocks and knives upon boarding ships; activists stole soldier’s weapon escalating violence.
From: JERUSALEM POST
According to the IDF, the international activists “prepared a lynch” for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after calling on them to stop, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier.
IDF Navy commandos encountered fierce resistance early Monday morning as they boarded international aid ships on the way to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade of the Strip. According to defense officials, upon boarding the ships the commandos were attacked by activists with rocks, knives and metal pipes.
The soldiers responded with crowd dispersion measures. At one point activists succeeded in stealing the weapon of one of the soldiers, leading to an escalation in violence.
The Navy made initial contact with the flotilla at 11 p.m. on Sunday ordering the ships to follow them to Ashdod Port or otherwise be boarded.
The actual boarding of the ships took place at 2 a.m. Sunday and was yet to be completed by 8 a.m. Activists aboard the ships repeatedly said they would not respond with violence to the navy’s interception of their flotilla prior to the boarding.
Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh came on Al-Jazeera to condemn the “brutal attack” and called on the UN to intervene on the activists’ behalf. Apparently, IDF attempts to prevent broadcasting from the ships were unable to block the Turkish camera crew on board one of the ships. The flotilla’s change of course earlier in the night to force the confrontation with the navy to occur in daylight seemed to have succeeded. The attack began still under cover of dark, but continued in daylight.
The initial contact took place about 200 km. off the Gaza Coast. Flotilla organizers said they detected three Israel Navy ships on the radar. Passengers on the ships were instructed to don life vests as organizers warned of potential Israeli violence. Israel Radio quoted the flotilla’s organizers as saying they did not expect the navy to meet them so far out at sea.
Israeli Navy ships set sail earlier Sunday night for what was expected to be a dramatic showdown out at sea as they try to prevent a flotilla of international aid ships from breaking the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
IDF: Flotilla Passengers Were Violent and Stabbed Soldier
From ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
The IDF reports that the crew of the Gaza-bound flotilla lay in wait for the IDF to board their vessel and then attacked IDF soldiers violently. One soldier was stabbed in the stomach with a sharp object, according to the IDF statement.
One of the crew said that one “Navy warship” had contacted the six boats in the flotilla and asked them to identify themselves. They were told the Navy would board the boats if the ships’s crew and passengers do not agree to head for the Ashdod port instead of the Gaza Coast, where Israel maintains sovereignty under the Oslo Accords and does not allow ships to approach without searching them for arms.
International law allows for countries to ask suspicious boats to identify themselves. The vessels’ passengers did not cooperate and called the move “scare tactics” on their streamed broadcasts.
The IDF searched the boats for arms immediately after the takeover. The soldiers were forced to use tear gas after they were attacked with knives, daggers and cudgels, putting their lives in danger.
The flotilla activists, some of whom are identified with terrorist Muslim groups, did not expect a confrontation with the Navy until Monday morning, when the flotilla expected to near the Gaza coast.
Israel was determined not to allow the boats to reach Gaza and set a precedent that would break Israeli sovereignty over the waters in order to prevent terrorists and arms from being smuggled from the Mediterranean Sea as they are from Egypt.
Turkey threatens reprisals after 20 dead reported on pro-Palestinian flotilla
Turkey threatens Israel would suffer incalculable consequences, raising Ankara’s hostility to Israel to a new level. The convoy was sponsored by Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan with two objectives: to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and deliver aid to its inhabitants.
The six boats remaining in the convoy are being escorted to the Israeli port ofAshdod. One source says the Israeli Arab Muslim extremist Raed Salah was among the casualties. The wounded will be treated in hospital. Other passengers will be deported through Ben Gurion international airport. Israeli will deliver its aid cargo to Gaza overland after inspecting its contents.
The following videos are from the Arab point of view only:
“If you ignore this order and enter the blockaded area, the Israeli navy will be forced to take all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade,” the radio message stated.
SEE EARLIER STORY: why-does-gaza-need-another-flotilla-of-humanitarian-aid
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists on seven ships prepared to set sail for the Gaza Strip on Sunday from international waters close to Cyprus, edging closer to an expected naval showdown as Israeli officials warned they would halt the flotilla from reaching the blockaded territory.
EXCLUSIVE FROM THE LAST CRUSADE
Three Israeli naval craft left a Haifa naval base just after 9 pm and approached the “Freedom Flotilla” after dark on Sunday, according to the Twitter page of Free Gaza, one organization participating in the flotilla.
Two hours later, Israel Radio broadcast a recording of one of the missile boats warning the flotilla, which is carrying humanitarian aid (so they say) and pro-Palestinian activists, not to approach Gaza.
“If you ignore this order and enter the blockaded area, the Israeli navy will be forced to take all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade,” the radio message continued. One tweet at about 11 pm said, “We didn’t expect them now,” adding that the participants thought Israeli forces would arrive Monday morning.
This is a help message,” said one post from the flotilla on the Free Gaza website. “We have been contacted by the Israelis but are still fine, don’t worry.” “The signals are going up and down,” the website said. “Israel is doing its best to block the satellite.”
The six-ship convoy carrying aid for Palestinians set sail for Gaza in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade of the terrorist haven territory and warnings that it would be intercepted. The ships, led by a Turkish vessel with 600 people on board, departed from international waters off Cyprus on Sunday afternoon.
The IDF said naval forces radioed the ships, but were ignored. The army said if the vessels continue to ignore their instructions, forces will begin the process of seizing them.
“If all goes well and there are no problems or interruptions of any kind it should reach Gaza around 2 pm local time tomorrow (Monday),” said Mary Hughes-Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement, one of the organizers of the convoy.
Israel has already said it will prevent the convoy from reaching the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, a sliver of territory which Israel has blockaded for three years to prevent weapons and other materials it fears could be used for military purposes from reaching the enclave’s Islamist rulers.
Hamas has been preparing to receive the convoy at the small harbor in Gaza City. But Israeli marine commandos have held drills to practice boarding and searching the ships.
Israel should sink the bastards.