Israel raid on Gaza flotilla, Mavi Marmara vessel (Videos)
Warning: These videos contain violent images.
By Garance Franke-Ruta
Videos from the Israel Defense Forces and Arab, Turkish and Iranian media stations are shaping international perceptions online following the deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla seeking to break the Israeli maritime blockade of the Hamas-controlled territory. At least nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed in the incident Monday morning.
The IDF issued a video that provides helicopter footage of the initial moments of the raid and said that the first commando lowered onto the ship was attacked. The civilian activists on board the Mavi Marmara "attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs," the IDF said in a statement accompanying the video.
"As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, as well as live fire," the IDF said. "According to initial reports, these events resulted in the deaths of nine demonstrators and seven naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners have been evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.
"Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.
"The interception of the flotilla followed numerous warnings given to the organizers of the flotilla before leaving their ports as well as while sailing towards the Gaza Strip."
The Israelis also posted a video of one of those warnings to the flotilla being delivered in advance of the raid, and a video from another angle of the soldiers who first rappelled onto the ship being set upon by men wielding batons:
Arab and other Middle Eastern media reports show the the other side -- the wounded civilians aboard the ship and scared passengers. What sounds like gunshots are audible in the background. The videos repeatedly emphasize that the ship was traveling in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea when it was boarded.
"Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal on board the Mavi Marmara sent this report before communications were cut," the international news network Al Jazeera reports:
Another report now circulating online shows a compilation of clips, including of a Press TV reporter as the raid continued. Press TV is a Tehran-based Iranian international news network that broadcasts in English. "We are being attacked from every side," the Press TV reporter said.
The Associated Press lays out the stakes in a video report on the international outrage sparked by the incident:
May 31, 2010; 1:08 PM ET
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