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Israel releases footage of weapons haul ‘found’ on Gaza peace ship


(Daily Mail)

United Nations condemns attack which left up to 19 dead


One Briton injured with 40 believed to be on Gaza flotilla
Eye witness accounts of raid on six activist ships emerges
Four Turkish nationals confirmed among dead
More protest ships on way to Gaza as tensions rise
Israel: This was not a successful operation

The Israeli military today released footage of weapons it says were found during deadly commando raids on a flotilla of ships bound for Gaza.

Improvised explosives, knives, machetes, catapults and gas masks were among the cache allegedly retrieved from the six-strong fleet which was stormed on
Monday.

The images were released by the Israel Defence Forces, who claim the weapons were used against navy personnel when they boarded the ship.

Weapons cache: The Israeli military released video of


weapons they claim were found on board the Mavi Marmara

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Israel releases footage of weapons haul ‘found’ on Gaza peace ship | Republic Broadcasting Network Page 2

Ammunition: The footage also shows bottles full of stones alongside a catapult (left) and a pile of metal bars

This shot shows an improvised explosive device, also


allegedly found on the flotilla

Israel is to deport all foreign activists seized on board the Gaza aid convoy, a spokesman for President Benjamin Netanyahu said last night .

It was not clear when the activists would be released.

Political sources told Reuters news agency that cabinet ministers decided amid rising world protests against Israel’s raid of the flotilla on Monday in which
nine people died, that some 680 activists (roughly 40 of whom are British) seized on the boats would be released.

As the UN Security Council condemned the attack and called for an ‘impartial’ investigation, the Foreign Office confirmed that at least one Brit had been
injured during the assault .

David Cameron described Israel’s actions as ‘unacceptable’ adding he ‘deplored the heavy loss of life’ off the coast of Gaza.

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Israel releases footage of weapons haul ‘found’ on Gaza peace ship | Republic Broadcasting Network Page 3

More…

The moment Israeli troops plunged from the sky in deadly clash
Israel poised for fresh confrontation as new activist ships sail for Gaza
Twenty-eight Britons, a Nobel winner and a top author: The unlikely crewmates who sailed into a maelstrom
OPPOSING VIEWS : Israel considers itself above the law… but did activists get what they wanted – confrontation?
UK tour operators consider offering Palestine packages

Meanwhile, the prime minister of Turkey – which is where the fleet launched – called the raid a ‘bloody massacre’

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Israel’s actions were an attack on ‘international law, the conscience of humanity and world peace’.

Israel was still in lockdown today with more than 400 activists still detained in an undisclosed location.

But a handful have been freed and they gave harrowing eye-witness accounts of the assault which took place in the early hours of Monday morning .

As many as 19 activists were killed during the raids with up to 40 injured. Four Turkish citizens were confimed to be among the dead .

Harrowing: Activist Nilufer Cetin holds her son Turker


Kaan Cetin after they were both deported from Israel. They had been on the flotilla when it was raided

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Israel releases footage of weapons haul ‘found’ on Gaza peace ship | Republic Broadcasting Network Page 4

Emergency session : The United Nations Security


condemned the raids after a 12-hour meeting last night

Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin described how the Mavi Marmara ship, of of six boats stormed by commandos, had turned into a ‘lake of blood’.

She had been on board with her one-year-old son Turker and had agreed to be extradited by Israel after being warned jail conditions there would be ‘too harsh’
for the baby.

Cetin said she and her baby, the youngest passenger on board, had stayed in their cabin’s bathroom during the raid.

Her husband, Ekrem, is the ship’s engineer and is still being held by Israeli authorities.

She described how Israeli vessels ‘harassed’ the flotilla for two hours before eventually boarding it at around 4am on Monday.

‘When the Mavi Marmara continued on its course the harassment turned into an attack.

‘They used smoke bombs followed by gas canisters. They started to descend on to the ship with helicopters,’ she said.

‘The ship turned into a lake of blood. She described the clashes as ‘extremely bad and brutal’

‘We were aware of the possible danger ,’ she added , explaining why she had taken her child on the ship.

‘But there are thousands of babies in Gaza. If we had reached Gaza we would have played with them and taken them food.’

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An Israeli soldier keeps watch aboard a naval vessel in


the Mediterranean Sea: The country claims it is simply defending itself

Assault force : Israeli naval vessels approach the port of


Ashdod after storming the Gaza flotilla

Meanwhile, British passenger Hasan Nowarah said that terrified aid workers were faced with the choice of being arrested or signing for their immediate
deportation.

The 45-year-old refused to sign the papers presented to him by the Israeli authorities but was sent back to the UK regardless because he was injured trying to
escape from the soldiers during the raid.

Arriving at Heathrow in a wheelchair after his flight from Tel Aviv, he said: ‘We waited in international waters for all the ships to gather together at around
10pm so that we could move as one.

‘We were 18 sea miles away from the Israeli borders and they started talking to us, but we refused communication.

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‘They told us we had to turn back but we told them that we were in international waters and we only had medical aid , food and supplies for Palestine, we were
not there to fight.

‘We said we are asking you to stay away from us, we’re not going to Israel.’

Mr Nowarah, who tore ligaments in his leg running away from the Army, said that he was one of two injured on his ship and he believed the only casualties
occurred on the Mavi Marmara.

He said: ‘Once our ship was brought to shore, we were taken over land for eight hours to reach Ashdod. We were greeted by about 1,000 soldiers for only 40
detainees.

‘We were petrified, they took our laptops, our mobile phones, and our luggage , they took everything.’

Mr Nowarah, who was born in Palestine, was among 35 people being deported by the authorities at that time , but he was the only Brit.

He said: ‘People who refused to sign the papers immediately were sent to the detention camps and all those with medium injuries were sent back to their own
countries.’

He said only his passport was handed back to him before he was deported.

Outcry: Thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters gather


outside Downing Street to protest against the the flotilla raid

Protest: Riot police officers blockade the road leading


to the Israeli embassy in London

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Israel releases footage of weapons haul ‘found’ on Gaza peace ship | Republic Broadcasting Network Page 7

Outrage: Demonstrators protest against Israel at


Taksim square in Istanbul yesterday

Six Greeks also returned to Athens today after being expelled from Israel, while dozens of others remained in Israeli custody.

The returning six, one of whom had been a crew member, told reporters that Israeli commandos boarded the boats in international waters about 80-90 miles
off the Israeli coast .

They told reporters the Israelis beat activists with clubs and used electric shocks , and they said they heard shooting aboard the Turkish boat ahead of theirs.

Some 400 Turkish activists were part of the flotilla, along with more than 30 Greeks and people of some 20 other nations including Germany, the U .S. and
Russia.

There were also 28 Britons, whose whereabouts are unknown .

These include Peter Venner, 63, Denis Healey, 55, Theresa McDermott, 43, and Alex Harrison , 32.
Nobel peace prize winner Mairead Corrigan-Maguire was also on board.

Best-selling author Henning Mankell, 62, author of the Wallander books , was also on one of the ships which were carrying more than 700 passengers.

Egypt today said it was temporarily lifting its blockade of the Gaza Strip to allow aid into the area.

The governor of northern Sinai, Murad Muwafi, says President Hosni Mubarak ordered the opening of the border crossing to Gaza in the town of Rafah for
several days .

Muwafi says the opening of the crossing – which Egypt sealed after Gaza was taken over by Hamas militants in 2007 – is an effort to ‘alleviate the suffering of
our Palestinian brothers after the Israeli attack’ on the flotilla.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the raid after a marathon 12-hour session. In a statement, the body attacked ‘those acts’ which resulted in the
loss of life.

But it stopped short of naming Israel outright, a move designed to placate the country’s closest ally the United States.

The statement, which called for ‘a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation’, is unlikely to assuage Turkey.

Israel said ten of its marines were hurt during the attack, one seriously, and insisted its forces had come under attack first – a claim denied by the activists.

Ron Prosor, Israel ’s Ambassador to Britain, admitted today the storming of the aid flotilla had not been a success: ‘It’s obvious – and I won ’t beat around the
bush on this – that this wasn ’t successful and I think it clearly took up an issue that should have been solved differently.

‘But they were also, on the other side, really trying to do everything in order to provoke and confront and those militant elements rendered something which
was supposed to be a humanitarian issue way out of proportion .

‘So I think, yes, we take a lot of things back with us and we check that as we do. As you know, Israel is a vibrant democracy and the discussions are already
beginning in Jerusalem’.

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Israel releases footage of weapons haul ‘found’ on Gaza peace ship | Republic Broadcasting Network Page 8

The incident happened in international waters and worldwide condemnation of Israel was swift.

Former British ambassador to the UN Sir Jeremy Greenstock said there had been ‘immediate international rage ’ following the ‘unnecessary loss of life’.

He said that Israel had to make sure weapons were not getting into Gaza ’so some kind of defence is necessary but this was clearly not very well handled’.

Sir Jeremy added: ‘It’s past time by some years for serious international action to end the blockade and the virtual starvation of Gaza.

‘This is not going to work as a way of dealing with the Palestinian territories over the long term.

‘It’s not going to work , frankly, for a democratic and law-abiding nation such as Israel – it ’s changing the character of Israel to be responsible for this kind of
occupation for so long.

‘And to my mind , this situation is just not necessary as it stands at the moment.’

Turkey, from where most of the dead are said to come, accused Israel of ’state terrorism’ and withdrew its ambassador to Tel Aviv.

Tens of thousands marched through Istanbul and attempted to storm the Israeli consulate, chanting: ‘ Murderous Israel, you will drown in the blood you shed.’

Deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc called Israel’s actions ‘piracy’ and cancelled three planned joint military exercises.

The deadly clash sparked a wave of furious condemnation of Israel – with 2,000 demonstrators outside the gates of Downing Street and thousands more
outside the Israeli Embassy in West London .

Israeli patrol boats are silhouetted against the backdrop


of a large civilian vessel before the pre-dawn assault in which up to 19 people died

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This video image released by the Turkish Aid group IHH purports to show Israeli soldiers aboard a military vessel in international waters off the Gaza coast

An Israeli army helicopter approaching a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza

In Paris, hundreds clashed with police near the Israeli Embassy. Police responded by firing tear gas.

The White House, which has close ties with both Israel and Turkey, expressed ‘deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the
wounded’.

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu cancelled a trip to Washington planned for today to head home as the crisis erupted.

He expressed his ‘full backing’ for the military action .

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