Jack's reaction to the video:
And UPDATE JUNE 1st; MORE PEACEFUL ACTIVISM ON THE PART OF THE PEACE FLOTILLA:
And had you seen this video as well?
And this one?
contributed by Jack, thank you:
Below is an article by Israeli journalist Ron Ben Yishai for the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot in which he provides a first hand account of the Israeli operation to take control of the Turkish-led flotilla. The Israel Project hopes you find this of interest.
Ben Yishai, Ron, "A Brutal Ambush at Sea," YnetNews, May 31, 2010, http://www.ynetnews.com/
For Video Footage of the Gaza Flotilla
A Brutal Ambush at SeaRon Ben Yishai recounts bloody clash aboard Gaza-bound vessel: The lacking crowd-dispersal means, the brutal violence of ‘peace activists,’ and the attempt to bring down an IDF helicopter
Our Navy commandoes fell right into the hands of the Gaza mission members. A few minutes before the takeover attempt aboard the Marmara got underway, the operation commander was told that 20 people were waiting on the deck where a helicopter was to deploy the first team of the elite Flotilla 13 unit. The original plan was to disembark on the top deck, and from there rush to the vessel’s bridge and order the Marmara’s captain to stop.
Officials estimated that passengers will show slight resistance, and possibly minor violence; for that reason, the operation’s commander decided to bring the helicopter directly above the top deck. The first rope that soldiers used in order to descend down to the ship was wrested away by activists, most of them Turks, and tied to an antenna with the hopes of bringing the chopper down. However, Flotilla 13 fighters decided to carry on.
Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.
However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.
One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows.
‘I saw the tip of a rifle’
The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.
The planned rush towards the vessel’s bridge became impossible, even when a second chopper was brought in with another crew of soldiers. “Throw stun grenades,” shouted Flotilla 13’s commander who monitored the operation. The Navy chief was not too far, on board a speedboat belonging to Flotilla 13, along with forces who attempted to climb into the back of the ship.
The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandoes who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness.
Only after this injury did Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire. The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandoes.
“I saw the tip of a rifle sticking out of the stairwell,” one commando said. “He fired at us and we fired back. We didn’t see if we hit him. We looked for him later but couldn’t find him.” Two soldiers sustained gunshot wounds to their knee and stomach after rioters apparently fired at them using guns wrested away from troops.
During the commotion, another commando was stabbed with a knife. In a later search aboard the Marmara, soldiers found caches of bats, clubs, knives, and slingshots used by the rioters ahead of the IDF takeover. It appeared the activists were well prepared for a fight.
Some passengers on the ship stood at the back and pounded the soldiers’ hands as they attempted to climb on board. Only after a 30-minute shootout and brutal assaults using clubs and knifes did commandoes manage to reach the bridge and take over the Marmara.
It appears that the error in planning the operation was the estimate that passengers were indeed political activists and members of humanitarian groups who seek a political provocation, but would not resort to brutal violence. The soldiers thought they will encounter Bilin-style violence; instead, they got Bangkok. The forces that disembarked from the helicopters were few; just dozens of troops – not enough to contend with the large group awaiting them.
The second error was that commanders did not address seriously enough the fact that a group of men were expecting the soldiers on the top deck. Had they addressed this more seriously, they may have hurled tear-gas grenades and smoke grenades from the helicopter to create a screen that would have enabled them to carry out their mission, without the fighters falling right into the hands of the rioters, who severely assaulted them.
And here, an update:
Sailor’s First-Hand Report: We Came to Speak; They Came to Fight
And here is a superb response by our friend Mike Gusowsky, AKA Yekutiel Ben -Yaakov.
Mike, I salute you: you couldn't have said it better. Thank you.
.... And Jack's comment:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/137801 ( VIDEO!)
Israelis Protest at Turkish Embassy Following Flotilla Clash
The “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” set sail last week for the Hamas-controlled Gaza region, claiming to be carrying humanitarian aid. Israeli Navy ships requested late Sunday night that the activists change course from Gaza to Ashdod, where they would be able to unload their aid material, which would then be transferred over land to Gaza after undergoing security inspections.
The activists refused and IDF troops attempting to board a ship were attacked by activists wielding knives, clubs and guns. Nine militants were killed and several soldiers injured - one from a gunshot wound - during the clashes that ensued, creating a new public relations crisis for the Jewish state.
Roni Bialer, one of the protesters demonstrating in front of the Turkish Embassy, spoke with Israel National News, stressing that the protest is made up completely of private citizens and is not connected with or endorsed by any organizations or political entities.
“We want the Israeli government to act strongly instead of apologizing for the number of militants killed,” said Bialer. “We must blame (Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan. It does not make sense that Turkey sends a ship with [possible] arms and expects Israel to let it in. We want Israel to change its policy towards Turkey.”
Bialer further expressed support for Israel’s government and for the IDF, saying that the behavior of Israeli soldiers was necessary for the country’s defense. Grassroots voices throughout the country and several military analysts have noted that Navy officers did not take proper precautions by sending commandos to board the ships without the necessary back-up or cover. They pointed out that preparations for the operation should have taken into account that not all of the people on the flotilla were unarmed.
Turkey was until recently widely viewed as one of the Middle East’s more moderate regimes, like Jordan, Egypt and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, who enjoy arms and support from the United States while generally limiting their actions against Israel to anti-Zionist propaganda.
But in the last year, Turkey has moved increasingly closer to the more outwardly hostile Iran-Syria-Hizbullah-Hamas axis that opts for a more traditional military approach to destroy Israel. While Israeli government officials have exhausted attempts to reconcile with Turkey, many Israelis – such as the angry demonstrators in Tel Aviv – have called on their government to treat Turkey as an enemy state.
See also related articles:
ISRAELI SOLDIERS WON'T BE ALLOWED TO TESTIFY IN TH...
Report: Obama Nixed Anti-Riot Gear on Flotilla
The White House has not commented on the report.
The report claimed that Defense Minister Ehud Barak accepted Obama's demand, possibly due to his hopes that America will agree to sell advanced weapons to Israel.
It says that the American demand was made despite Israeli intelligence reports indicating possible danger aboard one ship, the Mavi Marmara, which carried primarily Turkish citizens, many of them members of the pro-terrorist IHH organization. Intelligence agents had found that many of the Turkish passengers were trained in weapons use and hand-to-hand combat; their assessments were relayed to the White House.
Ultimately, soldiers boarded the ships with paintball guns and pistols instead of traditional anti-riot gear such as tear gas and rubber bullets. They were quickly overpowered by passengers on the Mavi Marmara, who were armed with clubs and knives. After two soldiers were critically wounded and dragged below deck, a commando opened fire , killing nine passengers and successfully ending the attack.
Obama did not condemn the IDF response, but since the flotilla incident, he has sought to ease tension with Turkey, and has called on Israel to ease its blockade on Gaza.