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Monday, October 25, 2010

What really happened on the Mavi Marmara

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashekanzi testified for the second time in front of the Turkel Commission investigating the Mavi Marmara incident on Sunday. Here are excerpts from three different accounts. This is from YNet:
Ashkenazi stressed that "the soldiers did not immediately open fire and even risked themselves to a great extent. One of them, who was being strangled, used a nearby shock grenade to rescue himself."

He stressed that the commandos acted in a restrained manner and did not hurt those "who should not have been hurt."

During the testimony, Turkel turned to Ashkenazi and asked: "Why weren't shock grenades used when the helicopters were hovering over the ship and the soldiers were being lowered down?"

Ashkenazi replied: "It's not easy hovering over another ship and lowering down soldiers. It's not the same as over a building roof. We used shock grenades before soldiers were lowered down."

Another member of the committee noted: "You hurled them and it did not have any effect."
Haaretz adds:
Ashkenazi told the six-member Turkel Commission on Sunday that navy commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara were equipped with riot-dispersal gear, but quickly switched to live fire to confront armed passengers because "if they had not done this, there would have been more casualties."

Ankara, which wants compensation and an apology from Israel, has dismissed the Turkel panel as too lacking in scope.

The probe commission has solicited testimony from Mavi Marmara passengers - many of whom insist the commandos' onslaught was unprovoked - and signaled it may probe Israel's navy deeper.

Ashkenazi said 308 live rounds were fired by the troops. A top aide to the general told Reuters 70 of these were aimed to cause injury, while the rest were warning shots.

That appeared consistent with Turkish forensic findings that the nine dead activists were shot a total of 30 times, and there were gunshot wounds among another 24 passengers who were hurt.

"Those who are asking questions [about tactics] should propose an alternative solution," Ashkenazi said.

Ashkenazi said passengers grabbed three Glock handguns [pictured. CiJ] and an Uzi machine pistol from commandos whom they overpowered. The troops had been dropped from helicopters onto the crowded ship as it ploughed through Mediterranean high seas at night.

"We have testimony of one activist running at them [commandos] and firing with a mini-Uzi, and them shooting him," he said. "They hit those who were clearly involved in the attack on them, and not those who were not."

Mavi Marmara activists have said any guns taken from the troops were disposed of, rather than used.

Ashkenazi said commandos had fired some 350 beanbag rounds and non-lethal paintballs, all according to "protocol." The navy opted against rubber bullets - a mainstay of Israel's tactics against Palestinian demonstrations on land - because of a lethal risk within the Mavi Marmara's confines, Ahkenazi added.
And this is from Arutz Sheva.
Clear proof that the passengers aboard the Marmara were armed and dangerous can be seen in the fact that the second IDF commando to board the ship was shot, he told members of the commission. The first soldier on board had not been carrying a gun, meaning the bullet could only have come from a gun carried by a passenger.

Ashkenazi defended the soldiers who boarded the Marmara, and said they had used minimal violence. Soldiers even took risks in order to lessen casualties among the passengers, he said. As an example, he said, one soldier who was being strangled took the time to locate a shock grenade to get free.
But of course, none of this will matter to the 'Human Rights Council' and other UN investigators who made up their minds that Israel was at fault before the event ever took place.

What could go wrong?


At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the stupid Jew Turkel Commission forgot to ask Ashkenazi was why didn't they just plug the ship with several 4 inch rounds to kill its engines, sink it slowly and not endanger a single IDF soldier.

It begs repeating: stupid Jews.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

It will not change the views of Israel's enemies nor should Israel expect them not to challenge Israel's sovereignty again in the future.

What the investigation can do is prepare Israel to cope better should such challenges be encountered again.

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm getting confused by Ashkenazi's testimony. We've been told since day 1 that the first commandos down were armed only with paintball guns and 9mm pistols. Now we hear that one of them had a mini-Uzi, and that the first commando onto the deck had no weapon at all.


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