May 31 marks the 10th anniversary of the deadly Israeli naval commando attack on six civilian boats in international waters.
The boats, part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, were sailing to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
The tiny sliver of land has been subjected to a brutal Israeli land, sea and air blockade since 2007.
All people on the boats , from different parts of the world, were civilian peace activists.
They were doing no more than delivering humanitarian aid: food and medicines for Gazans and toys for the traumatized children.
The Zionist regime—the self-proclaimed ‘only democracy in the Middle East’—however, insists even delivering food, medicines and toys to Palestinian children is not allowed because of its illegal blockade.
The six-boat flotilla, led by the Turkish boat, the Mavi Marmara, was intercepted by Israeli naval commandos from Flotilla 13, Israel’s elite naval commando unit, in international waters.
Food, medicines and toys were all donated by the Istanbul-based Turkish NGO, the International Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), to be delivered to Gaza.
IHH was established in 1992 and officially registered as NGO in Istanbul in 1995.
Israeli commandos demanded that the flotilla turn back.
Since the Israeli blockade of Gaza is illegal—it has no international standing except Israeli gangsterism—the Mavi Marmara’s captain refused to obey Israel’s illegal order.
Israeli commandos stormed the boat in a pre-dawn assault and murdered ten Turkish humanitarian aid workers in cold blood. The attack occurred in international waters, compounding Israel's crime.
One of those shot dead was a Turkish American teenager. Was the US concerned about the murder of its own citizen?
Perish the thought. Israel can do no wrong.
Who is unaware of the Israeli air force attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967 in the Mediterranean murdering 34 American sailors and wounding 171 others, including the ship’s captain William McGongle?
The USS Liberty was clearly marked and the Israeli planes attacking it knew exactly what they were targeting, as confirmed by a report in the Israeli daily, Ha‘aretz.
“‘But Sir, It’s an American Ship.’ ‘Never Mind, Hit Her!’ When Israel Attacked USS Liberty,” is how Ha‘aretzheadlined its story on June 6, 2017.
It revealed details of the conversation between the Israeli pilot and his command base ordering him to hit the ship.
The USS Liberty was a communications ship, monitoring Israeli military communications as well as those of Egypt during the Israeli war on Egypt, Syria and Egypt in June 1967.
The Liberty reported directly to the US National Security Agency (NSA).
Israel was not going to allow even its close ally and financier—the US—to listen in on its communications. If that meant killing American sailors in international waters, so be it.
As the Intercept reported on June 6, 2017, ‘Fifty years later, NSA keeps details of Israel’s USS Liberty attack secret’.
Both sides were keen to hush up the matter, calling it a “mistake”.
When it comes to protecting Israel, American rulers do not care for the lives of even their own military personnel, including those on official duty.
What explains such US subservience to the Zionist State of Israel?
This background is necessary to understand American attempts to justify the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on May 31, 2010 in international waters.
In addition to killing 10 peace activists, the heavily-armed Zionists also wounded 50 others on the Mavi Marmara.
Peace activists on other boats were also attacked, beaten up and injured.
This is how the British daily, The Guardian, reported Israel’s attack on the flotilla during that fateful May 31, 2010 pre-dawn attack.
“They came by sea and air, shattering the peace of a Mediterranean night. Shortly after 4.30am yesterday, in international waters, the elite Flotilla 13 unit of the Israeli navy stormed the Mavi Marmara, the flagship of a flotilla crewed by an alliance of pro-Palestinian activists who had combined to deliver 10,000 tonnes of aid to Gaza.
“In a blitz of military strength, masked commandos rapelled on to the Turkish ship’s deck from a helicopter and boarded from the side by fast attack launch. They were armed with guns, stun grenades and tear gas. Assault craft drenched their target in dazzling light and used booming tannoys to warn the ship’s passengers to halt their mission or face Israel taking ‘all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade’.
“The activists from as many as 50 different countries stood little chance in the face of such a show of strength.”
In propaganda warfare, Israel has always enjoyed enormous advantage.
The Western corporate media and politicians immediately parrot Israeli propaganda lines.
“Israel has the right to defend itself,” is one such mantra that is frequently invoked to justify the Zionist regime’s crimes.
This time, however, the situation was somewhat different, asThe Guardian narrated.
“But if Israel had been hoping to benefit from the cover of darkness by attacking at night, they did not reckon on the presence of a network of on-board video cameras recording their opening moves.”
There were camera crews from Iran’s Press TV as well as the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera TV.
They broadcast live footage of the Israeli assault that was seen worldwide, exposing the lies peddled by the Zionists.
Israeli attackers confiscated all the cameras and cell phones, as well as all the food and medicines on board, but news had already leaked to the world of what really occurred in that night attack.
“Israel claimed its actions were in self-defence, but later apologised for ‘operational mistakes’ in 2013. A United Nations investigation found that at least six of the deaths could be regarded as ‘summary executions’.”
How were Israel’s actions in “self-defence” when the Gaza Flotilla was heading to Gaza, not Israel?
Did the boats’ goods—food, medicines and toys—constitute weapons of mass destruction?
And why did Israel assault the flotilla in the middle of the night, if its actions were justified?
In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the massacre of peaceful activists on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a number of events, webinars and documentary screenings were organized.
The award-winning documentary, “The Truth: Lost at Sea” recounting what had happened on the Mavi Marmara was also shown.
Survivors of the Mavi Marmara as well as peace activists from around the world linked up to remember those that were killed and to extend sympathy to the families of the victims.
On May 30, filmmaker Lara Lee, who was on the Mavi Marmara and video recorded the Israeli assault and managed to evade Israeli confiscation, showed her video. Lara Lee is director of the Cultures of Resistance Network.
It is important not to forget the murder of innocent people on a peace mission to deliver desperately need food, medicines and toys to the besieged people of Gaza.
Zionist Israel must be held accountable for murdering innocent people in cold blooded.
The families of the victims deserve no less; they will settle for nothing less.