… and surprise, surprise: the Israelis were lying – as they have done since the first zionists coined that ridiculous motto of ‘a land without people for a people without land’ back in the 19th century. ‘We were shot at from the UN post’ anybody? Even CNN is having trouble keeping up its pro-Israeli spin (although they desperately try by ending the article with the classic doubt-raiser – never applied to Israeli spokesmen of course – ‘her account could not be independently verified’): ‘The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a press conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed.’
Here is Reuters alertnet: “The Israelis just attacked us without warning after dawn prayer,” said Norazma Abdullah, a Malaysian who was among 124 activists who crossed into Jordan at about 7.30 a.m. (0430 GMT). “They fired with some rubber bullets but after some time they used live ammunition. Five were dead on the spot and after that we surrendered,” said Abdullah, who was on the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara where most of the violence took place. Abdullah, speaking to Reuters near a Jordan river bridge, said the Israeli commandos had then kept the activists tied up for 15 hours until they reached the Israeli port of Ashdod. Nine people were killed during Monday’s raid on a six-ship convoy trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, where 1.5 million Palestinians are under an Israeli blockade.
Al Jazeera’s cameraman: ‘I was filming, and then he [an Israeli solider] ran after me with a stun gun. He could not catch me. One of his colleagues hit my hand from behind with a stun gun. My camera fell down. He ran to crush the camera with his feet. I told him, don’t break my camera. If you want the tapes, I will give them to you. I told him these are media equipment. They had no limits. They used rubber bullets. They used tear gas bombs. It was an unbelievable scene.’
Associated Press: ‘An Algerian activist, who only gave her first name as Sabrina, accused Israeli commandos of taking a 1-year-old child “hostage.” “They point a gun to his head in front of his Turkish parents to force the captain of our ship to stop sailing,” she said.’
See also this Al Jazeera blog here for pictures of the ‘weapons’ carried by the ‘Al Qaeda-linked provocators’ on board the Freedom Flotilla.
And finally, in related news: ‘Somali pirates hijacked a Panama-flagged cargo ship and its 24-strong crew in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, the European Union’s anti-piracy taskforce said. It said the crew were from Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ghana. The 15,220 deadweight tonne vessel was seized inside the internationally recommended transit corridor and had come from Brazil. It was not immediately clear what the MV QSM Dubai was carrying. Pirates from the lawless horn of Africa nation continue to outwit an international flotilla of warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden that links Europe with Africa and Asia. They have raked in tens of millions of dollars in ransoms.’ Where was the EU’s anti-piracy taskforce on Monday morning, one wonders, and why hasn’t it released a statement on the seizure in international waters of the MaviMarmara and the kidnapping of its crew and passengers?