Israel’s slaughter of people on an aid convoy to Gaza was its latest act of terror against the Palestinian people and their supporters.
Israeli troops boarded the Freedom Flotilla, which was bringing much needed aid to the people of Gaza, on Monday morning.
They killed and wounded crew
members and passengers. Israel and its supporters claim they acted in self-defence, but the troops were out to crush any defiance to Israel’s dominance of the Palestinians.
“Israel meant to attack the flotilla and it is trying to cover up this reality with propaganda,” Mona el-Farra, a doctor in Gaza, told Socialist Worker. “Israel is committing crimes against humanity.”
The first reports by activists of the horror of the attack on the Mavi Marmara ship emerged on Tuesday.
“The ship turned into a lake of blood,” Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin told reporters in Istanbul. She had been seized after the attack on the convoy, held in Israel and then returned to Turkey because she had a child with her.
She said Israelis attacked at around 4am on Monday, using “smoke bombs followed by gas canisters. They started to descend onto the ship with helicopters”.
Six Greeks who have returned home said those still in custody were refusing to sign papers.
“During their interrogation, many of them were badly beaten in front of us,” said Aris Papadokostopoulos, who was on the Free Mediterranean, the ship traveling behind the Mavi Marmara.
“Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat,” said Greek activist Dimitris Gielalis, who was on another ship the Sfendoni.
“They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks.”
He said the boat’s captain was beaten for refusing to leave the wheel while a
cameraman filming the attack was hit in the eye with a rifle butt.
Israel demanded that people signed a paper written in Hebrew before they were allowed to leave. Hundreds of people had refused to do so and were still being held.
Peter Venner from the Isle of Wight was one of the people on the convoy. Rachel Bridgeland, his partner, is angry at the British government’s response.
She told Socialist Worker, “The British embassy has been useless, not giving me any information about what is happening. Either the British government can’t persuade Israel to tell them or it’s keeping it from me.
“It’s bad either way. The government wants to give Israel enough time to gets its story straight and get its version of events out there.
“What they want left in people’s minds is that there was a fight between two equal forces, which is ridiculous.
“We can’t allow people to forget what has happened.”
Israel is a rogue state, lashing out against all who oppose its oppression of the Palestinians.
We must rise up to ensure that it becomes a pariah state and that the Palestinians are freed from its dominance. We must force Britain to break all links with Israel, including shutting down its embassy.
Join the protests this weekend.
Take to the streets, 1.30 pm, Saturday 5 June, Downing St, London — Princes Street, Edinburgh. Called by Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative, CND, Viva Palestina