Written by Free Gaza team | 09 June 2010
Posted in News
Gaza Flotilla survivors recount tales of terror, brutality and fear for their lives
Please TAKE ACTION and DEMAND that the United Nations launch an independent investigation into the Israeli attack against unarmed relief ships in the Freedom Flotilla. DEMAND that the international community stop simply condemning Israel’s brutal and illegal blockade of Gaza – and start doing something to end it!
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
The United Nations, New YorkNY10017
tel: +1 212 963 5012
fax: +1 212 963 2155
For three days as they were held in captivity last week and unable to speak on their own behalf, Israel presented the massacre against civilian passengers on the Mavi Marmara as self-defense against a “lynching.” Now that the passengers are returning to their home nations, the global community is hearing a much different story, not just regarding the May 31st attack but also new allegations of brutality in the treatment of several passengers afterwards once they were in custody inside Israel. Free Gaza is posting these survivor testimonies on our website, and we will continue to provide updates as more passengers share their experiences.
As the passenger accounts trickle in, survivors portray the Israeli military as using excessive and disproportionate force against activists not just on the Mavi Marmara but the other passenger ships as well. Use of tasers, electric shocks, rubber bullets and live ammunition (both on board and from the helicopter hovering above) are documented. Multiple passengers tell eyewitness accounts of soldiers refusing to allow medical treatment of injured passengers, specific and focused targeting of journalists on board and beatings of passengers after their arrival in Israel, causing at least two passengers to need hospitalization.
“Keeping passengers held in captivity so that they could not share their perspective was a deliberate attempt by Israel to cover up what really happened on the Mavi Marmara that fateful night,” notes Free Gaza co-founder Greta Berlin. “They knew what the passengers would be recounting, but they hoped that by delaying the release of their testimony until days after the immediate incident, media coverage would be buried as backpage follow-up stories or dismissed purely as old news.” She adds.
In her testimony, Annette Groth, a German Parliamentarian who was a passenger on Mavi Marmawa validates that assertion saying “The scandal is that we have to fight the Israeli images only with words. The Israelis confiscated all the activists’ cameras, computers, and mobile phones.”
These accounts reveal an “alternative narrative” of the attack on the Freedom Flotilla that cannot be reconciled with the Israeli version. CONTACT Secretary General Ban Ki Moon today and DEMAND an independent investigation!
Updated survivor testimonies available at: