May 31st, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Latest developments: Israeli raid on flotilla

[Updated at 10:57 p.m.] Here are the latest developments involving the pre-dawn raid by Israeli military on a flotilla of six ships carrying aid for the Palestinian territory of Gaza:

LATEST DETAILS

- Times Square protest draws 500 outside Israeli consulate

- One American among wounded, State Department official says

- Venezuelan network TeleSur calls on Israel to release journalist seized in raid

- As many as nine Americans may have been aboard the Gaza relief flotilla and were being held by Israeli authorities, a State Department
official said.

- The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting Monday called by Turkey in response to the incident.

- On Monday, Israel insisted its soldiers were defending themselves when they opened fire. "They deliberately attacked soldiers," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the activists.

- In Iraq, hundreds of supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took to the streets of Baghdad in protest of the Israeli action.

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday Israeli soldiers were attacked as they attempted to stop a convoy headed to Gaza to deliver aid. The soldiers were beaten and stabbed, and there was also a report of gunfire, Netanyahu said, appearing in Ottawa, Canada, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Four Israeli soldiers were injured, he said.

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cut short his visit to Canada, and will return to Israel after holding a working meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to "update him on the recent events," said an e-mailed statement from a spokesman. Netanyahu spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier Monday, the statement said.

- The Israeli troops "were not expecting to be attacked," said Jonathan Peled, minister-counselor at the Israeli embassy in Washington. He said the soldiers came aboard carrying paintball pistols, but were attacked with knives and metal bars. One naval commando was stabbed, prompting the soldiers to open up with live fire, killing the nine, he said.

- The Palestinian Cabinet, in its weekly meeting, "strongly condemned the Israeli crime against international supporters on board of the Freedom Flotilla, which reveals, once again, Israeli disregard to the lives of innocent civilians and its disrespect to international law, norms and resolutions," the Palestinian Authority said in a statement.

THE RAID

- Israeli soldiers stormed a flotilla of six ships carrying aid for the Palestinian territory of Gaza in a pre-dawn raid on Monday, killing at least nine people, the country's military said.

- Israel Defense Forces says the number of people killed is nine, not 10 as previously reported.

- Seven Israeli soldiers were wounded in the raid, Israel Defense Forces said.

- Fifteen people captured on board the flotilla have been transferred to an Israeli prison in Beer Sheva, a spokesman for the Israeli Prison authority said Monday.

- Two Israeli naval commandos, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Israeli soldiers boarded the ships armed with paint guns along with loaded pistols which they were only supposed to use in an emergency. Only when the soldiers felt they were mobbed and their lives were in danger did they pull our handguns and begin shooting live ammunition, they said.

- All six boats in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla were boarded by Israeli naval commandos, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Only one, the Mavi Mamara, offered resistance; the other five surrendered peacefully, the military said.

- An Israeli senior military official speaking on condition of anonymity said 15 soldiers aboard several commando boats were involved in the incident. An Israeli commando said upon descending into a boat with ropes, he was immediately attacked by a group of people. "They beat us up with metal sticks and knives," he said. "There was live fire at some point against us ... They were shooting at us from below deck." The account could not be independently verified by CNN.

- A senior Israeli military official, speaking on condition of anonymity in an independent account cleared by military censors, said Israeli troops were planning to deal with peace activists on a Gaza-bound flotilla, "not to fight." The official displayed a box from the boat containing switch blade knives, slingshots, metal balls and metal bats. "This was not spontaneous," he said. "This was planned."

- The military official said most of the nine deaths were Turks, he said. Twenty people were wounded.

- "We didn't come here for war," he said. "... They came to fight us. This was a voyage of terror."

- The Free Gaza Movement, one of the groups sponsoring the flotilla, said in a Twitter post that Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto the deck of one of the ships and "immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians." Video aired on CNN sister network CNN Turk showing soldiers rappelling onto the deck of a ship from a helicopter above.

- The boarding of the ships took place more than 70 nautical miles outside Israeli territorial waters, according to the Turkish-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation or IHH - one of the organizers of the flotilla.

- The Israeli troops "were not expecting to be attacked," said Jonathan Peled, minister-counselor at the Israeli embassy in Washington. He said the soldiers came aboard carrying paintball pistols, but were attacked with knives and metal bars. One naval commando was stabbed, prompting the soldiers to open up with live fire, killing the nine, he said.

- Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said of the organizers of the flotilla, "They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship, we found weapons that were prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organizers' intent was violent, their method was violent and unfortunately, the results were violent."

- Five soldiers were among the wounded, with two suffering serious injuries.

- The Israeli military said the soldiers were attacked with knives and gunfire and that their lives were in danger. "We did not attack any boat, we merely fulfilled the Israeli government's decision to prevent anyone from going into the Gaza strip without coordinating with Israel," a military statement said.

- IDF spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibowitz said light weapons and handguns were confiscated from the flotilla. "We basically encountered a lynch," she said. "We had to control this violence."

- Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev accused the leaders of the flotilla of looking for a fight. "They wanted to make a political statement. They wanted violence," according to Regev, who said Israel wanted a peaceful interception of the ships trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza. "They are directly responsible for the violence and the deaths that occurred."

- The ships of the flotilla were being taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod, the military said.

- On Monday, Israel insisted its soldiers were defending themselves when they opened fire. "They deliberately attacked soldiers," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the activists.

THE REACTION

- The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting Monday called by Turkey in response to the incident.

- In Iraq, hundreds of supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took to the streets of Baghdad in protest of the Israeli action.

- "We will not stop. We will go again," Free Gaza, one of the groups organizing the flotilla, said on its website. "Please, donate for the next trip ... we will go until Gaza is free."

- A protest in Paris over the incident attracted an estimated 1,000 people on the Champs-Elysees, according to CNN personnel at the scene. CNN producer Nikki Cook saw police fire tear gas at protesters, who smashed a window and threw bottles. Police riot trucks were lining up to corral the crowd, Cook said.

- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had spoken with Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to express her "deep concerns." Merkel said she advised both officials that everything possible should be done to avoid escalation.

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday Israeli soldiers were attacked as they attempted to stop a convoy headed to Gaza to deliver aid. The soldiers were beaten and stabbed, and there was also a report of gunfire, Netanyahu said, appearing in Ottawa, Canada, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

- Netanyahu said he was cutting short his Canadian trip and would return to Israel.

- President Barack Obama spoke on the phone with Netanyahu Monday morning, according to a statement from the White House press office. He "said he understood the prime minister's decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with today's events ... (and) agreed to reschedule their meeting at the first opportunity."

- Obama "expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded," the statement noted. He "also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning's tragic events as soon as possible."

- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has spoken with Baroness Catherine Ashton, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, and with German Foreign Minister Guide Westerwelle on Monday, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Lieberman "told them that the passengers on the ships are not freedom fighters, but terrorist supporters who fired at IDF soldiers as soon as the latter boarded the ships."

- The Palestinian Cabinet, in its weekly meeting, "strongly condemned the Israeli crime against international supporters on board of the Freedom Flotilla, which reveals, once again, Israeli disregard to the lives of innocent civilians and its disrespect to international law, norms and resolutions," the Palestinian Authority said in a statement.

- Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak condemned Israel's interception Monday of humanitarian aid ships that were bound for Gaza, calling Israel's use of force "excessive and unjustified."

- Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, in a statement, "strongly condemned" what he called an "assault" by the Israeli military on the flotilla.

- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he was "shocked by reports of killing of people in boats carrying supplies to Gaza. I condemn the violence and Israel must explain." Ban spoke at a news conference shortly after the official opening of the International Criminal Court Review Conference in Uganda.

- Westerwelle said he was "very concerned" about the incident. Westerwelle said in a statement, "we want a thorough and transparent investigation. It is clear that there must be some balance in international law. It is not acceptable to distort this balance."

- Six Germans, including two members of parliament, were on board the flotilla, Westerwelle said. Their conditions were unknown. Two German embassy officials were en route to the Israeli port of Ashdod, he said.

- White House spokesman Bill Burton said Monday regarding the incident with the Gaza-bound flotilla, "The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy."

- Three members of Germany's Die Linke party were participating on board the boat where 10 people were killed, the party said Monday. So far, efforts to reach Bundestag members Annette Groth and Inge Hoeger, along with former member Norman Paech, have been unsuccessful, the party said.

- Amnesty International called for Israel to launch an immediate credible and independent investigation into the killing by its armed forces of at least 10 activists on boats protesting the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. "Israeli forces appear clearly to have used excessive force," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa, in a statement.

- France, Greece, Sweden and Ireland are among nations summoning their Israeli ambassadors. Other nations, including Russia, Spain, France and Indonesia, condemned the violence.

- Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Mideast envoy for the so-called Quartet, a group of nations working toward peace in the region, said in a statement Monday: "I express deep regret and shock at the tragic loss of life. There obviously has to be a full investigation into what has happened. Once again I repeat my view that we need a different and better way of helping the people of Gaza and avoiding the hardship and tragedy that is inherent in the present situation."

- The Vatican said it was following the situation with "great attention and concern."

- "We have consistently advised against attempting to access Gaza in this way, because of the risks involved," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "But at the same time, there is a clear need for Israel to act with restraint and in line with international obligations."

- Turkey has recalled its Israeli ambassador over the incident, canceled three military exercises with the Israeli military and called back its youth national football team from Israel, where two games were scheduled, said Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will return to Turkey from Chile after meeting with the Chilean president, Arinc said. The chief of the Turkish military is cutting short a trip to Egypt. The Turkish-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation or IHH was one of the organizers of the flotilla.

- "This operation will leave a bloody stain on the history of humanity," said Arinc.

- Nations including France, Spain and Bahrain, among others, condemned the violence. The Italian foreign minister has asked the European Union for a "serious and detailed" investigation.

- Police stepped up security across Israel.

- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for three days of mourning in the Palestinian territories.

- "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this Israeli attack on civilians who came from all over the world peacefully with wheelchairs and food supplies and medical supplies," said Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator.

- Said Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad: "Nothing can excuse this attack by armed forces on a humanitarian convoy. The Palestinian government strongly condemns this crime, which portrays, once again, Israeli disrespect for the lives of innocent civilians, and its disrespect for international law."

- Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, said: "The Israeli occupation tries to deny this massacre by saying that the activists on the boat are from Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood and this is a lying campaign, because the activists are international activists and between them are parliament members of western countries and know international peace activists."

- The British Foreign Office said it was seeking "urgent clarification" into the incident.

- After summoning its Israeli ambassador, the Greek foreign ministry said that the visit of the Israeli Joint Chiefs - scheduled for Tuesday - is being postponed, and that the Greek-Israeli military exercise that was in progress has been discontinued. A Greek foreign affairs ministry official could not say how many Greeks were aboard the six ships.

- Among the activists aboard the flotilla was Fatima Mohammadi from Chicago, according to the Free Gaza Movement – Chicago. Kevin Clark, a member of the organization, said that neither he nor Mohammadi's mother, who lives in Boise, Idaho, had heard from her. "None of us envisioned they would do this," said Clark. "Speaking for myself, this will not deter us."

- The Israeli Prime Minister's Office has issued a serious travel warning for Israelis visiting Turkey. The warning calls Israelis who are about to travel into Turkey to postpone their trip and for Israelis in Turkey to remain indoors and avoid presence in the city centers.

- More than 15,000 Israelis have canceled plans to visit Turkey, according to Guliz Akdeniz Ay, an official with tourism sales for Brontes Travel Agency, a leading travel agency in bringing Israeli tourists to Turkey. "So far, we have received more than 15,000 cancellations," he said Monday, for tours beginning the second week of June and continuing throughout the summer. All charter planes from Israel to the Turkish Mediterranean resorts of Bodrum and Marmaris have been canceled, he said.

- Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the raid will inflame the region. "Lebanon strongly condemns this attack and calls on the international community, and specifically on the major countries which are supposed to be responsible about the peace process, to take action in order to stop this continuous violation of human rights, which is putting the international peace at risk," he said.

THE CONVOY

- The convoy of boats left European ports in a consolidated protest organized by two pro-Palestinian groups to deliver tons of food and other aid to Gaza by breaking a blockade imposed by Israel in 2007. The groups are: Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish-based IHH, a humanitarian relief foundation affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood religious group.

- The convoy approached Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade, and was shadowed by three warships. Free Gaza had reported Sunday that they had been contacted by the Israeli navy. Israel wanted the flotilla to dock at Ashdod port, where supplies would be unloaded and transferred to Gaza.

- About 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid flows into Gaza per week, said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.

- Saying that Israeli civilians were subjected to rockets and missiles fired from Gaza that had originated from places like Iran and Syria, the military prevents all ships from reaching the Gaza shore so that ammunition or missiles cannot be brought in, Regev said.

- Israel said Sunday that Western and Turkish authorities have accused IHH of having "working relations" with different terrorist organizations.

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Filed under: Israel • Middle East
soundoff (568 Responses)
  1. PINAR

    Bas news for Israel!!!!! Israeli mouthpiece CNN how about the massacre of peace activists. is this good news for the civilians massacred

    May 31, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Peace

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/i-saw-israeli-bulldozer-kill-rachel-corrie-1919464.html

      May 31, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Alireza

      Learn the TRUTH. Have you seen the Youtube video "Close-Up Footage of Mavi Marmara Passengers Attacking IDF Soldiers".

      May 31, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anti-Zionist Christian

      Alireza, you mean the one where the IDF is illegally repelling down onto an international humanitarian aid vessel in international waters in the middle of the night with automatic weapons drawn? Yep, I've seen it.

      May 31, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MOHAMAD KOURDY

      PINAR , I THINK THAT YOU ARE MAN ENOUGH MAYBE TO STAND FOR THE TRUTH AND SAY THE TRUTH AND NOT THE OTHER WAY . WHAT YOU JUST SAID THAT TOTALY UNFAIR , UNJUST AND UNHUMATERIAN AND I REALLY SORRY FORSELF THAT YOU MISLEADING THE WHOLE WORLD AND ARE TRYING TO DEJUSTFY THE TRUTH !!!!
      LET ME TELL YOU , I AM A KOURDISH MUSSLIM FROM NORTHEN REGION OF IRQ WHO I AM SUNNY AND PRAY AT LEAST THREE TO FIVE RAKATS (E.G , MEANS TIMES ) PER DAY .
      IN OUR KORAN WE MUSLEMS HAVE BEEN WARREND NOT TO LIE AND STAND FOR THE TRUTH ALWAYS .
      WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT ISRAEL AND ISREALS IS TOTALT , UNJUST , UNFAIR , BARBERIAN AND MISLEADING THE TRUTH WHICH I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE A LIER AND A VERY HAREAT HADTED JEW AND ANTISAM WHO SISHONERING MY PROFIT MOHAMMAD AND HIS KORAN MAJID .
      YOU BETTER OF RETURN TO THE TRUTH AND SAY THE TRUTH AND SAVE FOR YOURSELF THE LIFE AFTER THIS .
      DID YOU SAY IN YOUR POST THAT TWO WEEKS AGO THE IRANIAN REGIME IN TEHRAN MURDERD FIVE KOURDISH STUDENTS TWO OF WHICH WERE WOME N COLLEGE STUDENTS !!!!
      DID YOU LET THE PEOPLE NOW THAT THE IDIOT TURKISH GOVERMENT SIS ANAHELATING THOUSANDS OF KOURDISH MUSSLES TURKS EVERY WEEK BY F-16 FIGHTHER MIGHT BY YOU STOOPID AMERICAN ????
      DON'T YOU WANT TO YOUR AD THAT HUNDRED OF THOUSANDA INNOCENTS MYSSLIMS ARE BEING MUSSICARE BY BARBERIAN CHINNESE REGIME EVERY WEEK ????
      AND THOSUSANDS OTHER SIMILAR CASES !!!!
      NOW I AM ASKING YOU COULD YOU SHOW IN THE 62 YEARS OF ISREALIS SOVERIGHN TO ITS RIGHTSFUL HOMELAND SHOW IF EVEN ONE PALESTINIAN HAS BEEN PUT IN MARHAL COURT OR KILLED AFTER ARREST FOR THEIR BARBERIAL TERRORIST ACTS AGAINST INNOCIENT ISRAELIS ??????? !!!!!!
      I AM VERY SORRY FOR YOU REALLY THAT ARE SO CHEAL IN THINKING ASSWHOLE.......

      May 31, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ahmed

    Israel is killing & put under siege Gaza for 3 years and the world is watching as if Gaza is not human died from lake of food & midical treatment.
    they should put an end to the occupation
    the world must say no to Israel
    how come a civilian ships attack a military warship
    Israel defy the world with assistant of USA

    May 31, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • bkmkr

      Brnmar, you sick Jew-hater. Read this, illiterate: And nabil, here's how your "democratically elected" Hamas patriots govern. The Washington Post April 2009

      "Some residents of Gaza were taken from their homes and shot in the legs or feet. Some were brutally beaten, and some were simply murdered, sometimes after hideous torture. If you are expecting - based on everything that has happened - that the awful Israelis did this, guess again. It was Hamas, the authentic and genuine government of Gaza. Well, no one's perfect.
      "The information about the shootings is taken from a report issued yesterday by Human Rights Watch. It says that

      'Hamas security forces or masked gunmen believed to be with Hamas" executed 18 people, most of whom were accused of collaborating with Israel, sparing the expense and bother of a trial. Others were shot, maimed or beaten, not for allegedly collaborating with the enemy - or, as is often the case, having a house or woman that a snitch covets - but for belonging to the opposition political party, Fatah.'
      The Arab world consistently twists democratic processes to the ends of murderous jihadism. To all non-Jew-hating Christians and Americans, know your real enemy. No Jew directed those planes into those towers or the Pentagon.

      May 31, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      The "whole world" could care less!

      May 31, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith1952

      Many Americans support you, not all are blind to the treacherous, genocidal, abuses of Israel.

      May 31, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris in Canada

      Why should the Isreali's not defend themselves with the heip of the US govenrment??

      What have the radical Moslems done to the U.S DOH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      better done in INTERNATIONAL WATERS than let them try to run the BLOCKADE. Once they reach Isreali terratorial limits we would be reading about ships blown out of the water and hundreds dead .

      May 31, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anti-Zionist Christian

      .

      bkmkr,

      Regarding 9/11, here's food for thought; an ABC News article, "Were Israelis Detained on Sept. 11 Spies?":
      http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0622-05.htm

      .

      May 31, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Icare

      No one is saying that the Turkish ship attacked the IDF ship, you should read the story better.
      The IDF solders who boarded the ship, after giving another warning to stop to the Marmara ship, were attached by "peaceful" activists who stabbed one of them so they can take his weapon, sea in the link below.
      http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/114/294.html?hp=1&loc=2&tmp=2454

      May 31, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikecimerian

      For such a gaffe to happen, Israel's cabinet must be rife with internal power struggles. Turkey which has been on the first line of NATO's defense since the Cold War was insulted by an assault on a ship under their flag. We have to understand that Turkey has internal struggles, it is a secular state faithfull to Mustafa Kemal's legacy of democracy and pro Europe alignment yet they are struggling against Islamist extremists within their own country. Israel's gaffe cornered Turkey's into the most outrageaous stance possible or risk riots and violent demonstration, which was to defeat UN's resolution and showing up along two prima donas just to quiet down riots and whatnots in Turkey. It's unfriendly to corner a governement into a charade. Turkey's Army will not allow for an Islamic Republic neither will Turkish women.

      They should have been met by gunboats and invited to follow them to port as a safe passage then the ship's searched.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. katreen

    this is the true civilization
    these are the human rights
    this is the peace they are .........

    May 31, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. erik

    Good information CNN, cheers. More details then most of the "one-sided press" of most parts of the world.
    In my view this is all just propaganda. What can small ship do to help a people? Martirs are much more usefull and now they have got some more!

    May 31, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • MOHAMAD KOURDY

      ERIK , AS YOU THIS SHIP !! THIS SHIP WAS A CARGO OF SIX BOATS WHO COULD CARRY MILLIONS TONS OF WEAPONS AND OTHER MATERIALS WHICH THESE BARBERIAN SO CALLED INNOCIENT FREEDOM FIRES TO LUNCK MASSIVES MISSLES ATTACK AGAINST INNOCIENT ISREALI PUPOLATIONS AND OTHER FOREIGHNS CITIZEN SHO CHOOSE TO LIVE IN THIS LOVING , ALL DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY , . I AM A MUSSLIM FROM KOURDESTAN AND HEIGHLY EDUCATED IN THE BEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE EUROPE . I CAN DENY THE TRUTH A FACT AND HONESTY JUST BECAUSE I SHOULD HAVE PITTY ON BUCH OF BARBERIAN PLESTENIAN WHO HAVE NO MERCY ON ANYONE INCLUDING THEMSEVES !!!!
      HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT THESE BARBERIAN SENT AND FOUGHT SIDE BY SIDE WITH SADAM HUSSIAN ELITE FORCES TO KILL IN MASS MILLIONS OF INNOCIEBT MUSSLIM KOURDS WITH IN IRQI TERROTERRIED AND OTHER MILLIOND OF IRANIAN MUSSLEM SHEAH PEOPLES !!!!
      PLEASE HAVE YOUR HEART PLACED WITH JUST AND HONESTY FROM NOW ON >
      FINAL QUESTIONS IF THEIR MISSIONS WAS PEACEFUL THAN WHY FIRED ON ISREALI FORCES AS THEY LUNDED ON SHIP TO CHECK ON THE THEM FOR POSSIBLE WEOPANS SMUGGLING TO THSES MURDERS TERRORITS ??? WHERE THESE GUNS AND PISTOLS ANF KNEIVES AND SORE CAMES FROM THE KILL AND INGERE ABOUT TEN ISRAEL SOLDIERS ?????
      WE ARE BOTH AGREE THAT THESE WEAPONS WERE NOT GIVEN TO THEM BY ISRAELI SOLDIERS THEY WERE GAVEN TO THEM BY THE TURKIS GOVERMENT AGENTS UNDER THE SOLE LEADERSHIP TURKISH PRIMINSTER TARIQ AZIZ WHO IS FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THIA ACCIDENT AND SHOULD BE ARRESTED AND COURTED IN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURTS .....DOWN WITH YOU TARIQ AZIZ ... JOD FRANK KAPAH YOCHLEH ...

      May 31, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • A

      haha if you really think that any news you see on T.V. in the U.S. isnt sensationalized garbage then you're delusional.

      May 31, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John Lafayette,In

    How worth you like rockets coming down on your city or town every day.Israel has the right to check the boat for weapon.

    May 31, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith1952

      If Israel didn't have 12 million people imprisoned, against international law, those people might not send rockets raining down on their neighbors, who have abused them for years, any time they get a chance.

      May 31, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • S Smith

      No the IDF has no right to seize your boat in international waters, any more then a police officer can come into your home in the middle of the night with no reason to be there. At which point do the Palestinians get to defend themselves, a great quote from an IDF soldier, "if the Palestinians didn't fire a few rockets back it would be hard to have any respect for them at all"!

      May 31, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • MOHAMAD KOURDY

      JOHN , THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE HONEST AND TRUTHFUL RESPONSE WHICH YOU POST > ...
      THESE BARBERIAN PALESTENIAN TERRORISTS IF THEY WANT PEACE THEY SHOULDN'T EVEN THINKING OF CONTINUING THEIR BARBERIAN ACTS FOR SO MANY YEARS !!!!!
      I AM A MUSSLIM AND TRUST IN THE SAME GOD AS THESE MURDERES DO CLAIM . DID I OR DO I EVER SENDED ANY MISSLE INTO THE TURKIE FROM OUR RIGHTFUL KOURDISH REGION IN THE KOURDESTAN OF IRAQ ??????
      TURKIS PRI MINISTER WAS AN ORGANISER FOR ALL THIS MASS UNDER THE GUINDENSE OF AHAMADINEJAD AND BASHIR ASSAD WHOM ALL THESE THREE BARBERIAN TERRORISTS SHOULD BE ARRESTED AND TRIALED IN THE INTERNATIONAL COURT AND PAY THE COSEQUENCES...

      May 31, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. moe

    Humanitarian shipment of food and meds should not be blocked by Israeli forces to punish Gazans because of Hamas rule there. The Palestinians have a right to live like humans and are being denied food, basic medicines and everyday use items. This is worst than a concentration camp, which Jews have endured before. They need to look at the bigger picture and find peace with the Palestinians and live in harmony and co-existence.

    Neither religion preaches violence and killing. US should work harder to bring these countries and people togher to a peaceful settlemt.

    May 31, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      You are wrong. The humanitarian aid was NOT being prevented to given to Gaza. The flotilla was told to deliver their aid to an Israeli port where it would be inspected for rockets and then delivered to Gaza. This is Israel's right under international law when faced with a belligerent nation. (Read up on the Cuban Missile Crisis & the US's response to it.) The flotilla clearly wanted a confrontation and attacked the boarding soldiers with small arms fire. It was their right to defend themselves.

      May 31, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith1952

      Ian – The Palestinian people should trust their captors because of, why?

      May 31, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Icare

      First of all, if the the humanitarian aid that is being sent now is not enough, activists could always send more supplies to Israel or Egypt and this aid would have been transferred to Gaza, but they refused to do so and to unload the goods in Israeli port.
      Secondly, if Gaza people are starving why should 600!!!! activists come to Gaza, they will be the ones eating the humanitarian aid they brought.

      May 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Courtier

    HOW COME WE DID NOT SEE ANY WEAPONS ON THESE SHIPS ???

    Israel really think we (Americans) are Morons.
    Specially since AIPAC and Israel Lobby runs ALL OF OUR MIDEAST Policies.

    May 31, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Colin in canada

      You did not see weapons on the ship? How naive are you? What were you looking for, yellow post it notes with arrows pointing to where the weapons were hiding?
      It will be proven before long when the IDF lays them all out for you to see. Bullets will be hiding in bags of flour. Guns will be attached to the underside of the wheelchairs, which begs the question, why were there HUNDREDS of wheelchairs. Would not the room be better used for medicine and food?

      May 31, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • The Watcher

      Children were depending on that aid. Innocents in need of medical care, including wheelchairs. That is what breaks my heart. I don't care if the grown ups kill each other, they are lost forever. But the thought of children suffering, some without the ability to walk, run or play in the sunshine, that breaks my heart. There is still hope for the children. Before their hearts are hardened.

      May 31, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gal

      what can't you understand??? from the begining Israel promised to deliver the aid, and so she will do.

      May 31, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • MOHAMAD KOURDY

      were you there in the boats to see yes or not ???? you stupid have no right to make sunch barberian question and judement !!!!!!!!!

      May 31, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • droid.manic

      I don't see any fire arms used by activists when the raid happened. I see some people throw crap around to full body armored special forces boarding through helicopters in the middle of the night. And how am I supposed to believe if Israel shows bullets and guns inside the aid? How do I know if they didn't plant all those guns? And if the activistshad guns, why wouldn't they use it against the IDF? And CNN you again fail to report accurately, as did Fox.

      May 31, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Icare

      If the ships were full of humanitarian aid and didn't have any weapons on them, why did the activists refuced to tranfer the goods to Gaza through the Israeli or Egyptian transfer points?

      May 31, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. k

    Israel was in a no win situation, either they led the terrorists go in and humiliate them and probably give weapons to the terrorists in Gaza, or they act on it and let the Arabs attack the Israelis to the point the Israelis needed to fight back

    They were in a no win situation, of course the world doesn't care because the world is afraid of the Arabs so they have to appease them

    May 31, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. harold

    This would have never occurred if the Gaza government would not allow and support attacks against Israel. they do not want to live in peace, rather they want to destroy Israel. Hamas are known terrorist and if they continue their violence you can only achieve a violent reaction. Live and let live is not part of their philosophy.

    May 31, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith1952

      This would have never happened if the Israel government hadn't kept the Palestinian people prisoner for 40 years. If they treated the Palestinian people like human beings this would not happen. The problem is Israel has stolen their property, destroyed their economy, and made them prisoners in their own land. What do you think the guys in New Hampshire would do if New York treated them like that. A few Rockets wouldn't be New York's worst problem.

      May 31, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Brnmar

    The Jewish community through Moses were chosen by G-D to be an example of righteousness in the world. Instead they chose to follow a path of evil. They still kept the cover of being a religious community, but many of them have no love for G-D or righteousness.

    Read Martin Luther the Reformers' book called "The Jews and their Lies." What they are doing now is nothing new. The have been at it for over 2,000 years.

    Non stop coverage on presstv dot ir.

    May 31, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Don't forget, Jews eats christian babies...
      Verrrry beeeeeeed people theaase Jews:-000

      May 31, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TODD

    ISREAL DID THE RIGHT THING. ANY OTHER COUNTRY WOULD ALSO PROTECT ITS SELF. ALL THEY WANTED TO DO
    WAS CHECK WHAT WAS ON THE SHIPS THIS ONE LITTLE COUNTRY CAN HOLD ITS OWN. AND ALL WHO ARE AGAINST IT WILL FALL

    May 31, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Nabil

      Let me remind everyone that the incident happened in international waters by Israeli commandoes.... so if Isreal was not preparing for this, why would they have commandoes just floating mid-air????

      May 31, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • droid.manic

      Yeah right to check on cargo my ..! In the middle of the night, with special forces coming down from helicopters, in international waters, resisted with metal bars and rods against high tech weapons and one of the most elite special forces in the world. Why wouldn't IDF use gas bombs or anything if they feared they were in danger? That is not how you board a ship if you want to check cargo!

      May 31, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Majid

      Todd, Was this ship going to Israel's country, that is not belonged to israel's.. Read History....Just put comments is nothing to do with it..

      June 2, 2010 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    sorry Arab and peaceful are not two words that go together

    May 31, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. MIKI

    this was all planned and exeucted by bigger forces. case in point, turkey has elections coming up, and the urrent presodent needed a ralllying call for his own slipping ratings. what better than a call to arms over israeli aggression, ? hence the turkish solid government level support for the flotilla. israel did what any governemnt would do to protect its national interests.m and this should be recognized at face value. these activists are and were not neutral, and were set on a collission course to create thios international incdient, which was calculated to show israel in abd light. leeeets not be fooled. did the israelis over-react, probarbly... but did they ahve a choice ?/ now hamas has to explain to their people why the party in gaza port is cancelled. sorry !

    May 31, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • KB

      Please get your facts right. The organizers of the Turkish part of the flotilla, i.e. the IHH Foundation, are inspired by the ideology of "Milli Gorus". This is the very group that the members of the current Turkish government turned their backs on some 10 years ago in favor of another Islamist ideology backed by the west. So they are to be considered political adversaries (maybe even foes) of each other.

      Therefore, I do not think the Turkish government is charmed by this incident. Although they have had their diplomatic clashes with Israel, they have maintained the trade and military relations completely. Now they are forced to meet the demands of an angry Turkish public to protect their credibility on the one hand, and consider U.S. and Turkish military interests on the other. I personally do not envy their situation.

      Furthermore: of course these activists were not neutral. In fact: I am totally not fond of their (extremist) ideology. But that should not be the main issue here, because the people on those boats were still to be considered unarmed civilians in international waters. The main issue should be the disproportional, brutal reaction by Israeli commandos.

      From Twitter:
      "If Iran not Israel had carried out an attack on aid flotilla, we'd now be at war. Western double standards make me sick."

      "If Israel could do this in full view of the world, imagine what they've done behind our backs..."

      May 31, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ray

    Why no mention in the CNN article here that one of the people on board the flotilla was USS Liberty survivor Joe Meadors? I guess CNN doesn't want to remind people about the USS Liberty. Most Americans have no idea that Israel attacked the USS Liberty in 1967 and killed 34 American sailors. If you don't know about Israel's attack on the USS Liberty just use your favorite Internet search engine and learn more.

    May 31, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Uh, yeah, I already knew about this. Man, the US even fires on its own forces sometimes, it's called friendly fire. The Israelis apologized and gave us money, the same crap we do to everyone else. How many other US ships have they attacked? Oh, none? Well then.

      May 31, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. Karla

    I see no mention that the blockade was a joint effort by Israel and Egypt when Hamas would not honor border agreement. Why not go through the channels correctly?? Did not look like that many tons of aid on those boats/seemed like more people than aid. Curious how they switched their course so as to arrive as they said in daylight hours for better publicity. The organizers of this knew the outcome that is why they already had protesters at the Embassy in Turkey before the ships were even boarded. Abbas is another piece of work as I do not see them assisting their own people in Gaza. It is always Israel surrounded by people who only want them dead.

    May 31, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • John Smith

      Beware those who give excuses for murder. A lot of responders on this board are so quick to excuse and justify the deaths of 16 innocent civilians. It's sad to see the lack of reasoning and compassion. Israel is not above the law and should be punished accordingly.

      May 31, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
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