Pro-Palestinian Activists Attack Israel Sailors, Israel Acccused of "War Crimes"
This incident won't be good for Israel and was undoubtedly planned with that in mind. NYTimes:
JERUSALEM — The Israeli Navy raided a flotilla carrying thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza in international waters on Monday morning, killing at least 10 people, according to the Israeli military and activists traveling with the flotilla. Some Israeli media reports put the death toll higher.
The incident drew widespread international condemnation, with Israeli envoys summoned to explain their country’s actions in several European countries. The criticism offered a propaganda coup to Israel’s foes, particularly the Hamas group that holds sway in Gaza, and damaged its ties to Turkey, one of its most important Muslim partners and the unofficial sponsor of the Gaza-bound convoy.
The killings also coincided with preparations for a planned visit to Washington on Tuesday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Israeli Defense Forces said more than 10 people were killed when naval personnel boarding the six ships in the aid convoy met with “live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs.” The naval forces then “employed riot dispersal means, including live fire,” the military said in a statement.
“That is a lie,” said Greta Berlin, a leader of the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement, speaking by telephone from Cyprus. She said it was inconceivable that the civilian passengers on board would have been “waiting up to fire on the Israeli military, with all its might.”
“We never thought there would be any violence,” she said.
At least four Israeli soldiers were injured in the operation, some from gunfire, according to the military.
A military statement said two activists were later found with pistols they had taken from Israeli commandos. The activists, the military said, had apparently opened fire “as evident by the empty pistol magazines.”
“What we have seen this morning is a war crime,” said Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator...
Posted on 05/31/2010 6:28 AM by Rebecca Bynum