This film, originating with the IDF, was shot from a naval vessel close to the Mavi Marmara, the largest of the ships in the flotilla. The vicious, thuggish nature of the attack on IDF soldiers attempting to board the ship after they made repeated requests for it to change course speaks loudly - for anyone wanting to see and hear, that is. [This version has sound and English-language subtitles.]
It shows a large number of the vessel's humanitarians surrounding the soldiers, attacking and beating them with metal pipes and furniture, lynch mob style. A soldier is seen being flung over the side of the ship. Pistols were grabbed from the IDF soldiers and the peace activists "humanely" opened fire. There are reports of an axe being used to attack a serviceman's skull. Seven IDF soldiers were injured yesterday, some critically. Nine (the updated number) of the embargo-breakers died.
So much of the analysis we are reading is based on claims that the Flotillers were unarmed and non-violent. In reality, they were prepared for what they had specifically invited and engineered: a full blown and bloody clash. To ensure it got to the level of ferocity they needed, these people, most of them Turks, had knives, metal bars and pipes, firebombs and other items of weaponry set aside and ready for use.
Earlier today (Tuesday), IDF General Staff Operations Commander Col. Itzik Turjeman told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that two more humanitarian peace-loving flotilla vessels are sailing to Gaza. He said they will be stopped as well.
Meanwhile the IDF spokesperson's office has posted this eyewitness account
IDF Soldier Describes Attack by Mob
Amnon Ben-Dror (Israel Defense Forces)
"Each soldier who descended was taken by three or four men and they simply exploded, beating him up. They lynched us. They had metal clubs, knives, slingshots, glass bottles... At one point there was also live fire. I was among the last to descend, and I saw that the group was dispersed, everyone in his own corner, surrounded by 3 or 4 men, I saw a soldier on the floor with two men beating him. I peeled them off him and they came at me and began beating me with the clubs. That's how I broke my arm. At that moment, I had no weapon in my hands, like everyone else who descended on the cables empty-handed. My paintball gun was behind me. They came and attacked me. I brought them down to the floor. I took a few steps back. I took out my paintball gun, they came at me, and I shot at their legs. One of the clubs destroyed my paint gun. From the opening of the corridor, they were shooting at us the entire time with live fire... We did not come with the weapons we usually have, we came for something entirely different."Peace activists.