Israeli Troops Were “Unprepared” for Flotilla Resistance
August 11, 2010
Israel (ChattahBox) – Details about the flotilla raid that ended in the deaths of nine Turkish activists have finally been released, with a general in the IDF admitting that they weren’t ready for a confrontation, and that mistakes were made.
Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff General Gabi Ashkenazi was quoted by Reuters, explaining some of what went on when Israeli commandos lowered themselves onto the deck of the flotilla where nine people were shot at close range.
According to him, Israel commandos were supposed to lower stun grenades to reduce resistance as much as possible, then follow with paintball guns to gather the activists for an arrest.
Failing to release the grenades, the first commando moved from the helicopter to the deck, shooting at activists with the paintball gun.
The activists panicked, and swarmed forward defensively. The weapons seemed to mostly be iron bars an nautical tools, such as knives and axes regularly found of ships. There are some reports of someone having a gun on the deck, but that isn’t completely clear at this time. Ashkenazi did say one Israeli soldier was shot in the stomach, but it wasn’t clear by who.
Commandos also acted defensively, unprepared for the ferocity of the attack. Panic, intense from the continued threats from Israel and the sudden appearance of soldiers dropping with guns from helicopters, was likely worsened by the lack of immediate action in the raid, such as the initially planned use of stun grenades.
This led to a violent battle on the deck of the ship, and the deaths of nine Turks, including one that was reportedly shot several times in the head at close range.
The backlash from the raid from international forces caused Israel to ease their blockade on Gaza, especially in an attempt to appease Turkey. The two countries had been close allies, one of the only Muslim countries to work closely with Israel.
It is not being called a poorly thought out reaction based on inaccurate intelligence gathered about the activists. Officials have admitted this much, but so far the only real ‘inquiries’ have been attempts to lay blame elsewhere, and so there is little relief at the details coming out.