Zoughbi: The Israeli navy fired at Mavi Marmara before landing on its deck

Zoughbi: The Israeli navy fired at Mavi Marmara before landing on its deck

Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoughbi said that the Israeli navy started to fire at the passengers of the Turkish cruise ship Mavi Marmara before its commandos landed on the deck, denying Israel’s claims that its soldiers opened fire in self-defense.

Zoughbi told a news conference in Nazareth city on Tuesday that Israeli soldiers ignored its appeal for providing two of the wounded passengers with medical help and let them bleed to death.

She highlighted that despite the tough political life she is living in and her experience of the reality of the occupation, she did not expect that such a brutal attack could have happened, especially since the convoy was carrying humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza people.
The lawmaker added that everyone aboard was expecting that the ships would only be intercepted and taken to Israeli ports and it did not come into their minds that Israel would use such military equipment and huge number of soldiers to attack them.

“There were deaths within minutes. The aim was to create an atmosphere of terror. A person raised a white flag and there were enough indications that we did not want any confrontation,” the lawmaker stressed.

For his part, lawyer Basim Mansour, who visited on Tuesday a number of Freedom Flotilla detainees, said that two women told him that the Israeli soldiers tied two of the passengers and threw them into the sea to die by drowning.

An Egyptian doctor, one of the participants in the convoy, also reported that the soldiers opened fire directly at the victims and refused to medically treat seriously-wounded cases leaving them to die.

Many Greek passengers, who were aboard Freedom Flotilla ships, confirmed on Tuesday after their release that the Israeli troops used live and rubber bullets, batons and stunt guns during their attack on the convoy.

Turkish activist Mutlu Teriyaki, who was aboard the ship having the name of Gaza, reported that he and his friends were able to see clearly Israeli troops firing randomly aboard Mavi Marmara ship.

In a related context, Dr. Ahmed Al-Rashidi, a professor of international law at the university of Cairo, called on the Palestinian government, the governments around the world, and human rights organizations to document the Israeli crime against the Freedom Flotilla convoy.

Dr. Rashidi also stated that Israel violated an important principle of the international humanitarian law related to the right of humanitarian assistance when it attacked the convoy, adding that articles 55 and 62 of the fourth Geneva convention stipulate that any occupying power must allow relief aid to reach the people under its occupation.

In a new development, the European campaign to end the siege said it managed to obtain the names of Freedom Flotilla passengers who were killed, wounded or detained and intends to publish them on its website.