what could be a serious blow to Israel's narrative on the killing of at
least nine humanitarian activists making their way to Gaza through
international waters, raw video by an Al Jazeera producer, who was
filming during the raid, appears to provide evidence that the IDF
opened fire on the flotilla even before boarding it.
Israeli forces assert they came under attack by the pro-Palestine civilian group, and video released by the IDF
appears to show one soldier being tossed overboard amid a scuffle with
unidentified individuals wielding melee weapons, like clubs and chairs.
in raw video captured by an Al Jazeera producer and published to
YouTube late Monday, two journalists provide a play-by-play of the
harrowing event as pops and cracks echo in the background. Even before
the Israeli forces were aboard, one says, they were pelting the boat
with tear gas and stun grenades, injuring numerous people.
he confirms the first death, saying the individual was killed by
"munitions," but not specifying whether it was a bullet or something
else. Then he confirms that Israeli forces were boarding the ship.
Another of the reporters featured in the video works for the Iranian
network Press TV. "We are being hit by tear gas, stun grenades, we have
navy ships on either side, helicopters overhead," he said. "We are
being attacked from every single side. This is in international waters,
not Israeli waters, not in the 68-mile exclusion zone. We are being
attacked in international waters completely illegally."
organizers are telling me now, they are raising a white flag -- they
are raising a white flag to the Israeli army," the Al Jazeera reporter
said. "This is after one person has been killed; a civilian has been
killed by munition. That number could be more ... Despite the white
flag being raised, despite the white flag being raised, the Israeli
army is still shooting, still firing live munitions."
Early reports put the number of victims between nine and 19, with dozens injured. (Update: Figures from major wire services put the number at 10, but it may yet change.)
The actual number has not yet been confirmed, as the IDF took all the
Gaza aid flotilla participants into custody. Numerous victims were
reported to be from Turkey. Palestinian leadership called the incident
a "war crime." Israeli ally Turkey also pledged their regional neighbor
will "face the consequences" for the killings and reportedly planned to
send military escort with a future Gaza aid flotilla.
"At least four Israeli soldiers were wounded in the operation, some from gunfire, according to the military," The New York Times added.
soldiers had to defend themselves, to defend their lives," Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said. Other Israeli
officials have called the charity organization responsible a group of
"extremist supporters of terror." The IDF also alleged that weapons
were found on board and that activists opened fire first, calling the
the resulting violence a result of "provocation."
these reporters' immediate accounting of the events proves accurate,
the truth of Israel's claim that they opened fire in self defense would
seem to be in doubt.
Portions of the raw video were featured by Al Jazeera and AFP,
although the beginning segment and the most clear allegations that
Israel opened fire before boarding were not included in their entirety.
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