Israel raid on Gaza flotilla was a premeditated 'terrorist attack', say Turkish organizers
Report drafted by IHH, the Turkish NGO which spearheaded the May 31 flotilla, calls says IDF deadly takeover 'an attack against all humanity and peace'.
The Israel Navy's deadly takeover of a humanitarian aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip was a pre-mediated "terrorist" attack motivated by hostility, the Turkish NGO that organized the convoy wrote in a special report released on Tuesday.
"Israel exhibited an example of illegal action by stopping the attempts for breaking the embargo in Gaza which is a collective punishment of Palestinians," according to the report compiled by IHH regarding the May 31 raid on the Mavi Marmara, which left nine Turkish activists dead.
"The Israeli navy, including hundreds of fully geared up soldiers with faces painted camouflage carrying guns in assault boats, battle ships, submarines and military helicopters carried out a terrorist attack towards the ship Mavi Marmara in international waters," the report said.
While all six ships comprising the flotilla were in someway affected by the raid, according to the report the passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara were directly subjected to live fire. In its report, the IHH accused the IDF soldiers of having "started killing unarmed civilian humanitarian aid volunteers by directly opening fire on them. Obviously, current Israeli government performed a planned terrorist attack to kill out of nothing but hostility."
"During this terrorist attack nine people have lost their lives and around 50 aid activists have been wounded," said the report, concluding that: "The attack carried out against the flotilla is an attack on all humanity and peace."
"As long as the people of Israel and the world public remain silent, they will be supporting the terrorist attack and the inhumane occupation policies of [the] Israeli government, which are complete against the international law," the IHH added.
The flotilla organizers said their sole purpose was to "end the embargo on Gaza and deliver humanitarian aid and it has received [the] support of people from all over the world and it is the common voice of the public's conscience and compassion and justified by humanity's conscious and the international laws."
The IHH said in its report that Israel's decision to block and raid the Gaza-bound flotilla meant that the "Israeli government has waged war on peace," adding that "those who wage war on peace are doomed to lose."
"Therefore, soon they may be facing enormous difficulties and a possible embargo," the IHH said, adding however that they would aid Israel as they attempted to aid Gaza in the event of such a blockade: "Should they be left in need of humanitarian aid through such an embargo, they should note that all individuals in this organization will be working against that embargo on them as well."
Israel's internal committee investigating Israel's the raid - headed by retired Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel - held its first meeting in Jerusalem on Monday.
One of the international observers, Lord David Trimble of Northern Ireland, said at the start of the meeting that the investigation would be serious and rigorous.
"I hope that the investigation will make a good contribution to peace in the region," Trimble said.
Ken Watkin, Canada's former judge advocate general said that he hoped he could bring a different perspective to the committee.
Turkel expressed hope that the committee would complete its duty fast, and that the prime minister, defense minister and the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff would shortly be summoned to testify before the committee.
The committee members, including Shabtai Rosenne, a professor of international law, and Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Horev, met to create panel guidelines and a schedule for hearing witness testimony, and determine the extent to which the observers will participate in the hearings.
The committee will also examine the security-related reasons for Israel's imposition of a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip, which the flotilla was launched to protest, and the conduct of Turkey and the flotilla organizers.