Was Israeli force against flotilla intentional?
Reports indicate that at least 9 activists were killed and about 40 injured when Israeli military forces boarded one of the ships and opened fire on its passengers and crew.
The Free Gaza Movement organized the aid flotilla with the hope of sending a message to the world that Israel has no right to starve 1.5 million Palestinians.
The Free Gaza Movement has been left unaware of the status of the prisoners Israel arrested onboard the ships.
“Our attorneys inside of Palestine right now have been trying for two days to get complete access to all of the prisoners that Israel took when they attacked our ships, and not successfully. Today for the first time we got access to about a third of the prisoners but only for about three hours,” said Ramzi Kysia, an activist with the Free Gaza Movement.
It is unclear what those being held will be charged with. In the past they have been charged with attempting to enter Israel illegally, however this time there was no intention for the aid workers to enter Israel.
The intentions behind the aid flotilla were to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and draw further attention to the Israeli blockade.
It has been said that Israel said the Free Gaza Movement is one of the greatest threats to Israel.
“This is so overblown it’s unbelievable,” said Kysia.
All Free Gaza ships are inspected by local authority before they depart to combat accusations of this nature. The organization ensures a complete ship manifest is released, including the names of all passengers onboard. They also allow for continued online GPS tracking of the ships and invite international journalists to broadcast live from onboard to maintain the transparency.
In the past, Free Gaza Movement ships have reached Gaza five times and been stopped three. In none of the previous cases was there a loss of life.
“You have to begging to wonder whether this was intentional, whether there was a deliberate decision take to try and use as deadly force as they could to send a message not to allow any more flotillas to be organized,” said Kysia.
It is clear Israel did board the ship; however Israel contends they were provoked and threatened by the activists.
“This was a flotilla of unarmed ships carrying only humanitarian aid in international waters that had no intention of going anywhere near Israel,” said Kysia.
Kysia stated that there were no weapons onboard the ships and that the welcome an independent international investigation into the matter.