Israeli Soldiers Attacked by Terrorists on Gaza Anti - Israel Flotilla
May 31, 2010
Navy Prepared to Face Anarchists, Met Terrorists Instead
by Hillel Fendel
Army Radio reporter Gal Lev-Rom, on board one of the Israeli Navy ships that stopped the anti-Israel flotilla, reported on the "peace activists" preparations to lynch Israeli soldiers and on the large weapon stocks they brought.
Lev-Rom said that at one point around midnight, "our ships started calling upon them to stop, or else the full responsibility would be upon them." It was similarly publicized in news sources around that time that Israel said it would give the boats time to adhere to the instructions before its forces would begin to board them.
"There was no answer other than curses in English and Arabic," Lev-Rom said. Around 4 AM, the commandos started boarding the boats, rappelling onto them by ropes and armed only with pistols. At that point, Lev-Rom said, "the demonstrators on board attacked the Israelis with light weaponry, including knives and clubs, in true lynch-like fashion. The commandos are certainly well-trained, but it's quite hard to fight back when it's 6-10 people against one. They started beating our soldiers with bats and sharp objects and the like, and even some pistols were taken and fired at our soldiers."
Lev-Rom noted that the army is checking a report that rifles were fired at the Israelis. "The fighting occurred on deck, but one soldier was thrown down to a lower floor, and another soldier had no choice but to throw himself off the boat into the water. From then on, the soldiers had no interest other than to protect themselves and their comrades. Their actions, from all indications, were without reproach, as well as very heroic. Several soldiers were only seconds only away from death before their fellow soldiers saved them."
Other reporters said that the soldiers said they were truly not prepared to face violence of this nature. It was said that many of the "peace activists" spoke only Arabic and didn't understand English.
"The activists had many things ready for an attack on the soldiers," Lev-Rom said, "including, for instance, a box of 20-30 slingshots with metal balls; these can kill. There were also all sorts of knives and many similar things. These are what they call ‘cold' weapons, as opposed to live fire. It was quite clear that a lynch had been prepared."
Lev-Rom said, however, that it appears the army, "even though it prepared for many different scenarios, was not ready for this one. The army seems not to have known what type of people were there and what type of weapons they had. It was hard for Israel to conceive that the ship, sponsored by the country of Turkey, would have such weapons. Israel was prepared to deal with anarchists, and instead had to deal with terrorists – that's the feeling here."
A total of 38 wounded were taken to four different hospitals in Israel, including seven Israeli soldiers. Among the latter are one or two in serious condition, from gunshot wounds, and three in moderate condition. No specific reports were issued on the 31, other than they are being treated in Sheba-Tel HaShomer, Ramban in Haifa, Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, and Beilinson in Petach Tikvah.
The IDF issued a statement saying that, "As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity [by the ships' passengers], naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire. Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants on board the ships were planning to lynch the forces… The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose."
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Video Shows Flotilla Extremists' Incitement
Gaza flotilla extremists created a war atmosphere before attacking Israeli Navy commandoes, according to documented video footage translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
Several of the extremists shouted the common Islamic chant, "[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!" according to video footage on Al Jazeera television and translated by PMW.
Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Mohammed's army in 628, PMW explained. Many Jews were killed in the battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia, and there are Muslims who see that as a precursor to future wars against Jews.
"The chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims," PMW added.
Al-Jazeera also interviewed a woman who said that the flotilla participants' goal was "one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza."
Following is the transcript from Al-Jazeera TV as translated by PMW:
Reporter: "Despite the Israeli threats and several unexpected delays, the arrival of the ships at the meeting point before sailing to the Gaza Strip inflamed the emotions and the enthusiasm of the participants.
While singing songs reminiscent of the Intifada, participants expressed their longing to reach Gaza.
A participant: "Right now we face one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza." [
Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV chose to glorify flotilla participants who shouted the Islamic battle cry by broadcasting an interview with a university lecturer from Sanaa, Dr. Abd Al-Fatah Shayyeq Naaman, who said, "Yesterday I followed the news agencies and they conveyed Zionist threats to stop the convoy and prevent it from entering Gaza; on the other side, those with faith and will, once again call out upon hearing the reports of the threats: '[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!'"
"Free Gaza' activists said before boarding the flotilla they would not use any violence, but Al-Jazeera reported that before the confrontation, the flotilla's leaders announced that they would use "Mukawama,' the Arabic word for resistance and often used as a euphemism to refer to all violence against Israel, including suicide terror.
Video: How Flotilla Leaders Attacked Navy Commandoes
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Two IDF videos provide proof that the "peace activists" that Navy commandoes expected on the flotilla actually were armed extremists who had carefully planned to ambush, attack and kill the soldiers. One commando suffered serious wounds after a being thrown 10 meters from the bridge of one ship to the deck below.
Video: Demonstrators aboard the Mavi Marmara use violence against Israeli Navy soldiers
The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose," IDF spokesmen said.
The attackers assaulted the commandoes as they descended on deck by rope from helicopters hovering above the flotilla. The Navy soldiers were virtually defenseless because of their orders as the attackers beat them with metal clubs and knives and fired at them with two pistols that had been snatched from the commandoes.
The soldiers were under orders not to shoot, but the "open fire" command was given after stun grenades failed to disperse the attackers. At least 19 people were killed, most of them from Turkey, where the radical IHH group organized the flotilla.
The Navy ships initially requested the ships to change course peacefully from Gaza and head for Ashdod, where they would be able to unload their aid material, which would then be transferred over land to Gaza after undergoing security inspections.
Video: Soldiers who were attacked and examples of weaponry found on ships
by Israel National News Staff