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Israeli commando pirates attack Gaza flotilla in international waters

By Nora Barrows-Friedman

ok, where do we start? how many international laws were being breached, violated, broken, trampled?

ten activists, maybe up to sixteen by the latest reports, were killed today when Israeli commandos launched a brazen attack against the Gaza flotilla which was sailing to ďbreak the siegeĒ with humanitarian aid and hundreds of Palestinian, Turkish, American, British and many other international activists aboard.

iíve had my issues with the internal machinations of the Free Gaza Movement or the Free Palestine Movement, whatever the factionalization drama it cycled in and out of, whatever itís called now, but Israelís open-fire assault on the boats really shocked me. and iím not easily shocked by Israeli aggressions these days anymore.

Why should i be shocked, why should we be shocked anyway? apartheid militarism breeds outrageous aggression. israel has shown us, again and again, that nonviolent protests automatically warrant violent aggression. itís leaders have shown us that because there has never been any international legal condemnation, nor political pressure, nor outright sanctions against the state, it can feel empowered to act and kill as it wants. shimon peres won a nobel peace prize, even.

these acts of war happen every day in palestine. on the ground. away from the spotlights and the live television feeds and the twitter posts. palestinians are fighting for their lives.

iím worried about my friends on the boats, iím worried about my friends in the refugee camps. iím worried about those who have buried family members today, those who will bury more tomorrow. iím worried about those who are buried with the memories of their villages long destroyed and buried themselves. iím worried about those who want to scream but cannot use their voice. iím worried about the israeli children who have inherited this paradigm of supremacy and fascist aggression.

hereís the latest, before i go to bed and dream of calmer waters, from Al-Jazeera.
Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet
Al Jazeeraís report on board the Mavi Marmara before communications were cu

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the countryís siege on Gaza.

Up to 16 people were killed and more than 30 people injured when troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli Army Radio said.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

Footage from the flotillaís lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeeraís Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli Army Radio said soldiers opened fire ďafter confronting those on board carrying sharp objectsĒ.

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the ships.

They also said the ships were now being towed to the Israeli town of Haifa, instead of Ashdod to avoid waiting journalists.

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.

They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.

Al Jazeeraís Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.

ďAll the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation,Ē he said.


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