Jul 15 2010
A retired Israeli general leading the inquiry into the fatal raid of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has finally made a report to his government. While details of General Eiland’s findings were not made public, an official summary was released early this week which essentially justified the shooting deaths of nine Turkish citizens, one of whom had duel US citizenship, on board the Mavi Marmara. The Mavi Marmara was part of a flotilla of ships heading to Gaza carrying medical and other supplies. The Free Gaza movement has spearheaded on-going attempts to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza by sea. The summary of the Israeli investigation into the May 31st 2010 raid found that “the anticipated level of violence used [by the activists] against the [Israeli] forces was underestimated.” The IDF commandos who boarded the ships “operated properly, with professionalism, bravery and resourcefulness,” according to the investigators. The use of live fire was also justified. The report’s summary also praises the media relations strategy in relation to the assault, and the rapidity of medical evacuation. The government of Turkey has asserted that the Israeli government committed a crime and is demanding an international investigation into the killings of its citizens. Meanwhile, Israel is threatening to intercept another ship bound for Gaza with supplies, sponsored by the Libyan government. And, on Tuesday Haneen Zuabi, an Arab Israeli member of the Israeli parliament, was stripped of key privileges because of her participation in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Also yesterday, Israeli forces opened fire in the Bureij refugee camp in Gaza killing one Palestinian woman and injuring five others.
GUEST: Ann Wright, a 29 year veteran of the US Army and Army Reserves, and former US diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war. Wright traveled to Gaza 3 times in 2009 and helped organize the Gaza Freedom March. She was one of 14 US citizens aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
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