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Mavi Marmara Returns to Turkey
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/8/13/892718/-Mavi-MarmaraWhats-Happened-This-Week

The Mavi Marmara arrived back in Turkey on Saturday the 7th of August, 2010 along with the Gazze and the Defne-Y.



On Monday morning the vessels were first searched for explosives by a bomb squad, for radiation by the Turkish Atomic Energy Commission and their hulls were also inspected by a team of scuba divers.



After the vessels were checked, teams of prosecutors and forensic experts boarded the vessels and began their investigations. The investigations lasted two days and were completed on Tuesday evening.



Turkish newspapers report that:



Most of the Mavi Marmara had been very carefully cleaned,

Most of the bullet holes on the Mavi Marmara had been filled with putty and painted over,

Approximately 250 bullet holes were found along with some slugs and unfired bullets,

Many bullets holes were found inside the Mavi Marmara,

Most of the equipment in the bridge and the engine room was either severely damaged or had been removed,

Some of the passengers personal belongings were found on the vessels and these had been put in plastic bags in Israel,

No laptops, telephones, cameras or video cameras were found on any of the vessels.



The Mavi Marmara will be handed over to its owner, the IHH. Representatives of IHH have stated that they and their insurance company will have it checked for damage and then arrange for repairs.



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The U.N. Security Council commission investigating the seizures of the Gaza Aid Flotillas vessels had its first meeting on Tuesday. Turkish newspapers report that problems arose in the meeting because the Israeli representative insisted that Israel will not allow any Israeli soldiers to be interviewed. The commission will meet again at the beginning of September.



This week the Turkish government established a commission under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister to collect information which will then be presented to the U.N. Security Council commission.



The Turkish commission will be headed by Ambassador Mithat Rende. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Transportation and the Maritime Undersecretariat will participate in the commission.



Investigations of the seizures of the vessels and the nine deaths which occurred during the seizures are the responsibilities of, and are being cared out by, Turkish prosecutors.



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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi testified before the Israeli Turkel commission this week.



These excerpts are from the 11 August, 2010 New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/world/middleeast/12flotilla.html`>Flotilla



Though stun grenades were fired first, from the air, they failed to disperse the dozen or so activists on the roof of the boat.





A video in two separate parts, produced by the army and shown to the commission, stated that the shot fired at the second soldier was `probably` the first shot fired on the ship.




But General Ashkenazi said it was `clear and established` that flotilla participants opened fire first.





As clashes broke out on the boat, commandos fired at the feet of their `attackers.`




When the commandos met resistance as they tried to rush the bridge, they responded with fire. And at one point, at least 15 minutes into the struggle for control of the ship, the force commander allowed the soldiers to use accurate and precise live fire against violent activists, to permit more soldiers to climb aboard from the lifeboats.



If you have time, please compare the above NY Times article with http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177445`>`We


To me this is an amazingly offensive statement by General Ashkenazi. It can be found in http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/11/israel-military-chief-flotilla-testimony`>Israeli



`The soldiers legitimately opened fire and shot those who they needed to shoot and not those who they didn`t need to shoot.`




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