Turkish Court Indicts Israeli Military Leaders in Absentia
On the Second Anniversary of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Turkish Court Indicts Senior Israeli Military Officials in Murders of Nine Passengers
Two years ago I was a passenger on the first Gaza Freedom Flotilla which was sailing to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. I watched from a small boat called the Challenger 1, as a much larger boat, the Mavi Marmara, with almost 600 passengers, was brutally attacked by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) commandos. 30 minutes later, our boat was attacked.
Using snipers from helicopters Israeli commandos shot many of the passengers on the exposed top deck of the ship. Other commandos in boats fired live ammunition, as well as percussion grenades, into all levels of the ship. As commandos repelled down from helicopters and boarded the ship, they executed at point blank range 5 passengers, including a 19 year old American citizen Furkan Dogan, whose body had five bullets including one to the back of his head. 9 persons, 8 Turkish citizens and one American citizen, were murdered and 50 others were wounded. One severely wounded Turkish man later died after being in a coma for many months.
Each of the six ships in the flotilla was attacked by IDF commandos. Passengers on the ships were shot with tasers and beaten by commandos. Potentially lethal paintballs were shot into the faces of passengers narrowly missing eyes and soft parts of the skull.
IDF commandos took the computers, cameras, identification and credit cards and several hundred thousands of dollars in cash from the passengers. IDF commandos sold many of the stolen computers. Very few of the items taken by the IDF have been returned to passengers.
The Mavi Marmara was returned to Turkey with a new coat of paint to cover the blood stains of those wounded and killed. The other five ships are still held by the Israeli government in the port of Haifa.
Turkish Court Indictment of Senior Israeli Military Officials