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Israel Guns Down Peace Activists FIFTY Miles At Sea; Kills At Least Two
by dailykos
Sunday May 30th, 2010 9:59 PM
Breaking: Israel attacks Gaza Freedom Flotilla--at least 10 dead Updated x4
by soysauce [Subscribe]
Share this on Twitter - Breaking: Israel attacks Gaza Freedom Flotilla--at least 10 dead Updated x4 Sun May 30, 2010 at 08:12:56 PM PDT
Turkish TV is reporting:

Aid Mission carrying medical supplies and food for the Palestinians of Gaza Attacked
Israel attacks Turkish Mavi Marmari ship
2 Dead, About 30 injured
People are shouting "we need help"

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The boat was positioned deep in international waters.

Dawn is just breaking over the Mediterranean. More news should be available soon.

The flotilla is the project of a coalition of organization, including the Free Gaza Movement. Over 600 people from 50 countries are on the boats.

Urgent Call from the Freedom Flotilla!
(Cyprus, May 31, 2010) At 11:00 pm Cyprus time and in international waters off the coast of Israel, the boats were contacted by the Israeli navy. “Who are you and where are you going?” Our reply was that we were part of a flotilla and we were going to Gaza to deliver humanitarian supplies.

On the radar, the boats could see three Israeli war ships shadowing us, and 15 minutes later, a silent aircraft hovered over the flotilla. One of our Hebrew speakers had found Israel’s strategy and posted it to us. It stated, “You will be boarded by highly trained, very efficient and very SILENT commandos. They will use silent inflatable boats to get to our boats and both try to board our boats directly from the inflatables and by dropping divers into the water to climb onto the boats,” so people were preparing for them to come up and over the sides of the ships.

Our SPOT locator has sent out several HELP messages at

Lubna Marsawa, Free Gaza’s organizer on the Turkish passenger boat said in outrage, “Very few times in history has a flotilla delivering humanitarian goods been welcomed by military war ships.”

This is a call to the world from the people on the boats. “We are a civilian people doing what our governments have refused to do, challenge Israel’s right to collectively punish 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza by blockading their right to their own sea. This flotilla is bringing construction and educational supplies the people of Gaza and are being met by Israeli warships.”

Check out this site, find the Israeli embassy nearest you and let them know how you feel.

Update from Gaza Freedom March says 3 dead according to reports from the boats.

Israelis Kill 3, Injure Dozens in Assault on Gaza Ship Convoy Carrying Humanitarian Aid

May 30, 2010
10 PM CST: Solidarity activists aboard one of six relief vessels traveling to Gaza with humanitarian report that they have been attacked by Israeli forces, with three of their human rights volunteers killed and roughly 30 injured. Al Jazeera has just confirmed the numbers. The assault comes in the wake of the flotilla being surrounded earlier today by three Israeli warships in international waters, roughly 70 miles away from the Israeli coast. The Flotilla moved further west, deeper into international waters to avoid any conflict with Israeli navy vessels, but had been concerned all night that Israeli forces would send small inflatable military boats towards the flotilla and attempt to attack and board the humanitarian vessels.

Those fears have apparently been realized, with people aboard the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship with hundreds of aid workers and activists aboard, reporting that they have been attacked. At least three passengers have been killed and dozens more wounded. Israeli commandos apparently repelled onto the Mavi Marmara, whose passengers range in age from 88 to a year old and include Christians, Muslims and Jews seeking to end the blockade.

Live video from the flotilla shows Israeli naval commando vessels pulling alongside the aid ships, and what sounds like gunfire can be heard in the background. No-one on the aid ships is carrying any kinds of weapons, including for defense against a feared Israeli attack in international waters.

Hundreds of elected officials, former diplomats, aid workers and activists -- including a Nobel laureate and many European legislators -- are with the flotilla, traveling by sea to Gaza to break Israel's blockade of the tiny strip of land. Foreign news correspondents and independent journalists are traveling aboard the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship with hundreds of aid workers and activists aboard which is also running its own press operation. A total of six ships, including two cargo ships and other passenger vehicles, are carrying thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to the beseiged region, which has been under Israeli blockade since 2006.

Israel has marshalled its most lethal military vessels to try to stop the humanitarian marine convoy, and at around 2:20 pm Central Standard Time (US) the first reports of unmanned drone planes buzzing the vessels was received from convoy passengers.

Two boats in the aid flotilla, one currently traveling with the convoy to Gaza and another in port in Cyprus for repairs, are flagged and registered in the United States. The ships are U.S. territory under maritime law, and the U.S. government is required to intervene if this "U.S. property" is attacked or illegally confiscated by Israeli authorities -- a tactic Israel has threatened and deployed in the past. Israel has a long history of attacking ships whose missions are deemed undesirable. In December 2008, it rammed the Dignity, carrying medical and humanitarian aid, doctors, human rights workers and a former U.S. congresswoman, without warning in international waters.

The story is being reported by AP:

By TIA GOLDENBERG, Associated Press Writer –
HAIFA, Israel – Israeli warships attacked at least one of the six ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid for blockaded Gaza, killing at least two and wounding an unknown number of people on board, an Arabic satellite service and a Turkish TV network reported early Monday.
The Israeli military refused to comment on the report.
The al-Jazeera satellite channel reported by telephone from the Turkish ship leading the flotilla that Israeli navy forces fired at the ship and boarded it, wounding the captain. The Turkish NTV network also reported an Israeli takeover with gunfire, and at least two people were killed.
The al-Jazeera broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, "Everybody shut up!"

Update 3

Live English reporting from Press TV.

Update 4
Press TV is reporting that Israeli TV says that at least 10 civilians are dead in this attack. Protests at the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. No word on the nationalities of those killed.