Friday, June 4, 2010

More voices from the Gaza aid convoy

Hasan Nowarah, UK:
“We could hear screaming and see bullets flying. Israeli aircraft were trying to land on the Marmara and they were shooting people on the deck who were in their way. Three people were shot in the head and died instantly so everyone started taking cover. When they actually landed, the activists started to run at them and there was a confrontation beyond belief. It was crazy.”

Kevin Ovenden, UK:
"The attack started with percussion grenades and we feared they would use tear gas. The Israeli commandos attacked from all sides and began shooting almost immediately, initially with so-called rubber bullets but certainly within two or three minutes we heard the unmistakable sound of live rounds. A colleague from Viva Palestina, Nicci Enchmarch, was next to a Turkish man who was holding a camera. He was shot through the middle of the forehead. The exit wound blew away the back of his skull and she cradled him in her arms as he died."

Sarah Colborne, UK:
Israeli boats were detected on the radar at 11 pm on Sunday evening. The decision was made to move farther back into international waters. An emergency medical room was assembled and we put our lifejackets on. I went to sleep at 2 am and woke up again at 4:10 am. I went up on to the deck and saw boats and dinghies, bristling with guns and military, speeding towards the ship. There were helicopters above us, and gas and sound bombs were being used. There were then gunshots and the first passenger was fatally wounded. He was brought to the back of the deck but he’d been shot in the head. It was a massacre that took place there."

Jamal Elshayyal, Al Jazeera:
"As soon as this attack started, I was on the top deck and within just a few minutes there were live shots being fired from above the ship, from above, from where the helicopters were. It was evident there was definitely fire from the air, because one of the people who was killed was clearly shot from above — he was shot, the bullet targeted him at the top of his head. There was also fire coming from the sea as well. Most of the fire initially from the sea was tear gas canisters, sound grenades, but then it became live fire.

Hanin Zoughbi, Arab Knesset member also said that the Israeli navy started to fire at the passengers of the Mavi Marmara before the commandos landed on the deck, denying Israel’s claims that its soldiers opened fire in self-defense. “There were deaths within minutes. The aim was to create an atmosphere of terror. A person raised a white flag and there were enough indications that we did not want any confrontation."

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