JERUSALEM – Israeli commandos on Monday stormed six ships carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists on an aid mission to the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens
Twice in this story there’s a claim by the Israelis that the civilians on the ship used weapons seized from Israeli commandos. I’m trying to figure out how the civilians seized weapons from soldiers who hadn’t attacked them yet. I’m really trying to figure out how the civilians seized weapons from Israeli commandos at all.
Does this make sense to anyone? A little help here?
An Al-Jazeera reporter on one of the Turkish ships said the Israelis fired at the vessel before boarding it. The Israelis, who had declared they would not let the ships reach Gaza, said they only opened fire after being attacked by activists with sticks, knives and live fire from weapons seized from the Israeli commandos.
The Israeli military said troops only opened fire after encountering unexpected resistance from the activists. Activists attacked troops with knives and iron rods, and opened fire with two pistols seized from the forces.
Response so far:
The tough Israeli response drew condemnations from Turkey, France and the U.N.’s Mideast envoy, while Greece suspended a military exercise with Israel and postponed a visit by Israel’s air force chief.
About 10,000 Turks also marched from Israel’s Consulate in Istanbul toward the city’s main square, shouting slogans denouncing Israel. The protesters earlier Monday tried storm the Consulate building but were blocked by police.
The Israeli ambassadors in Sweden, Spain, Denmark and Greece were summoned for meetings, and the French foreign minister called for an investigation.
In neighboring Jordan, hundreds demonstrated in the capital Amman to protest the Israeli action and demand that their government breaks diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
The United Nations expressed “shock” and condemned the killings. “We are in contact with the Israeli authorities to express our deep concern and to seek a full explanation,” said a statement from the highest-ranking U.N. official in the region, Robert Serry.
Presumably the US response will be, “Israel has a right to defend its territory.” What do you think?
UPDATE: the AP story at the link now is not the same story I linked to this morning. Additional information has been added and quotes have been removed. Sorry about that; I have no control over altering the news.
UPDATE: Swedish novelist Henning Mankell was on board one of the ships and is reported to be fine.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is publishing some editorials highly critical of the raid. I wish we would publish such things here in the US. A couple of titles: