First-Hand Account of Gaza Flotilla Raid

A German parliamentarian who was onboard the raided flotilla describes the scene

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

An Israeli man wrapped in the national flag stands next to cameramen at the Israeli army navy port in the southern Israeli town of Ashdod on May 31, 2010. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty)

Many details of the confrontation on the flotilla headed for Gaza remain contentious and incomplete. Israeli naval commandos clashed with activists aboard the 'Mavi Marmara,' one the six boats in the Mediterranean, and nine people were killed. The international community has condemned Israel's action. Annette Groth, a German parliamentarian, was on the ship that was attacked by Israeli forces. She describes what it was like when the boat was attacked.

The boats were carrying 682 people from 42 countries on a mission organized by the Free Gaza movement, and carried humanitarian aid for Gaza residents, including cement, iron, home-building materials, electric generators, wheelchairs and food. Israel is still holding most of the passengers in detention in the port city of Ashdod, but more than 40 have been sent back to their home countries. Michael Slackman, Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, analyzes the incident from Jerusalem.

Both sides of the incident have posted videos. The activists were live-streaming the event. You can see that video archived here. And below, you can see the video released on YouTube by Israel Defense Forces showing the incident from their perspective.


Annette Groth and Michael Slackman

Comments [2]


Today, IDF personnel tried to deliver what had been on the ships to the Gazans. Hamas refused the delivery.

This isn't about aid to the people of Gaza. It is about a high-profile series of public relations stunts, intended only to break down the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

There were six ships in the flotilla on Monday. The passengers on five of them did not resist or assault the IDF commandos. And as a result, they were treated with care and respect and promptly released upon arrival in an Israeli port. The one ship carrying people who attacked the IDF commandos was the outlier; the only one where the IDF replied with deadly force.

Jun. 02 2010 01:40 PM
Simon from In the right place

Does anyone see the absurd in this unfortunate event? Does not matter if you are peace activists or not. No other country in the world would let you get to it's shore without checking the content of your ship. Why then Israel being condemned about her rights? Would the US or Russia will agree to let ships land on their shores without taking it over?

Jun. 02 2010 12:16 PM

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