Israel Navy commandos and helicopters attacked the unarmed international flotilla of humanitarian relief to Gaza, killing 19 people [so far] and injuring over 31 activists from all over the world, including a 86 year old Jewish woman who is a survivor of the Nazi holocaust and members of the European parliament.
The attack occurred in international waters 35 Km. from the coast of Israel, without any international legal base for Israel to take on humanitarian vessels that were bringing 10,000 tons of medical and education supplies to the impoverished and blocked Palestinian people of Gaza.
The Freedom Flotilla was organized by the Free Gaza Movement and Insani Yardim Vakfi a Turkish humanitarian NGO. This was the biggest mission trying to help the people of Gaza, who are leaving in permanent siege and blockade from Israel, facing hunger and extreme living conditions, resulting in one of the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world.
This video shows images of the attack:
This is a video released by the Israel military trying to excuse the military operation as a response to attacks of the flotilla civilian members against Israeli soldiers. These images show the dimension of the violence and chaos that occurred last night :
The United Nations Security Council is meeting today. The European Union has condemned the attack. Several protests have been held around the world against Israel, see list provided by Gaza Freedom.
In the United States today is a national holiday honoring its military personnel. The U.S. is the biggest supplier of military aid to Israel and even though the White House has announced that "deeply regrets" the casualties but it's not taking any further steps to condemn Israel actions. Meanwhile, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled his meeting with Obama on Tuesday, or perhaps it was the other way around.
The U.S. media is mentioning only 10 deaths in the attacks. Jewish-owned The NY Times and The Washington Post portray the Freedom Flotilla activists as "pro-Palestinians".
It's very important to hear both sides of the story. Here is a 25-min. debate by AlJaazera:
Watch this livestream from Insani Yardim Vakfi with details of the attack:
The Free Gaza Movement's mision, from its website:
Since August 2008, the Free Gaza Movement has sailed from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip on several successful voyages, bringing in international witnesses to see first hand the devastating effects of Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. Ours are the first international boats to journey to Gaza since 1967.The IHH İnsani Yardım Vakfi Humanitarian Relief Foundation (The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief), is an international NGO based on Turkey, with presence in more than hundred countries all over the world. Established in 1995, during the war in Bosnia to help war victims, IHH provides humanitarian relief in areas of war and conflict.It has a consultative membership status in the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
We are Italian, Irish, Canadian, Greek, Tunisian, German, Australian, American, English, Scottish, Danish, Israeli, and Palestinian. We are of all ages and backgrounds. We have years of experience volunteering in Gaza and the West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians. But now, because of the increasing stranglehold of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine, many of us find it almost impossible to enter Gaza, and an increasing number have been refused entry to Israel and the West Bank as well.
We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine's right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.
We have not and will not ask for Israel’s permission. It is our intent to overcome this brutal siege through civil resistance and non-violent direct action, and establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world.
AlJaazera has a live blogging coverage with updates and in Twitter I suggest you follow > @AJEnglish for AlJaazera news and @freegazaorg (English) and @palestinalibre (Spanish) for updates from the Free Gaza Movement, and @GazaFreedom of the Gaza Freedom March.