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15 Jun, 2010 00:29

Filmmaker smuggled raw footage off Mavi Marmara

Iara Lee managed to save raw footage of the Israeli raid of the Gaza flotilla despite her equipment being confiscated by Israeli forces.

All those on board worked to conceal their video equipment in order to protect their footage, some succeed and others did not.

Lee is a filmmaker and activist who was aboard of the Mavi Marmara ship of the Gaza flotilla as it was raided by Israeli commandos. The footage is about an hour in length and shows what was going on aboard the Mavi Marmara in the time leading up to the raid and the reactions of passengers during the attack. She was also one of the few Americans on the Mavi Marmara.

I went as a filmmaker, as an activist, as a humanitarian,” said Lee.

Lee said that it was very unfortunate the equipment was all confiscated. There was no respect for the media or those documenting the event. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment was lost.

The main goal of Israelis was to jam the satellite system so people would not have access to information, but the organizers were smart and had a back-up system. So, when the raid happened they were able to transit via satellite some of the horrible things that we endured,” said Lee

Lee and others hope the information and video footage can bring to light what actually occurred on the ship and hopes the footage will lead to Israelis being prosecute for international crimes.

Lee’s footage does not show close-ups of soldiers killing activists. The footage documents the time before, during and after the chaos. It shows the mood aboard the ship before the attack occurred, what went on at the time of the incident and shows injured activists in the wake of the raid.

Israeli has continued to claim that their actions were self defense. Lee disagrees, stating those onboard the ship were attacked without provocation

“We didn’t attack first. We were in the middle of international waters and the Israelis were the ones who came and attacked us,” said Lee.

The blockade of Gaza is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention. It illegally collectively punishes the people of Gaza when the real conflict is between Hamas and the Israeli government, argued Lee.

We were a Humanitarian mission, but we wanted to bring attention to the fact that this is unjust law,” said Lee.