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Several Palestinians dead as Israeli forces shell Rafah home
Israel army chief says forces fired 308 bullets on flotilla
Published Sunday 24/10/2010 (updated) 26/10/2010 09:07
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli commandos fired 308 live bullets aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship in May, Israel's army chief said on Sunday as he testified again before the Tirkel panel investigating the incident.

Gabi Ashkenazi said the navy's killing of nine Turkish nationals on the Mavi Marmara had been unavoidable, British news wire Reuters reported.

Although commandos were equipped with riot-dispersal gear, it quickly switched to live fire "because if they had they had not done this, there would have been more casualties," Ashkenazi told the six-member panel. He added that rubber bullets, commonly used by forces in the West Bank during Palestinian demonstrations, were not used because of the confines of the ship.

Ashkenazi said 308 live rounds were fired by the troops. A top aide to the general told Reuters 70 of these were aimed to cause injury, while the rest were warning shots.

The news wire said the amount appeared consistent with Turkish forensic findings that the nine dead were shot a total of 30 times, and there were gunshot wounds among another 24 passengers who were hurt.

'Commandos hit those involved in attack'

Ashkenazi said passengers grabbed three Glock handguns and an Uzi machine pistol from commandos whom they overpowered but those on board have said that all weapons taken from troops were disposed of.

"We have testimony of one activist running at them [marines] and firing with a mini-Uzi, and them shooting him," he said. "They hit those who were clearly involved in the attack on them, and not those who were not."

The UN Human Rights Council -- which Israel boycotted -- alleged in a report last month that several passengers may have been executed. According to the report, one of the victims sustained a fatal brain injury from a so-called "beanbag" round -- a heavy pad fired from a shotgun and which, at safe ranges, is designed to knock down the person targeted.

Ashkenazi said commandos had fired 350 beanbag rounds and non-lethal paintballs, all according to "prescribed method."

Backing the commandos' account, Ashkenazi said they were combat veterans who "know when they are being shot at." But he also seemed to make allowances for the haze of melee.

"I won't take issue with a soldier who might confuse a slingshot, and the whizz its missile makes as it flies past, with a pistol, in night-time" conditions, he said.
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1 ) Plain / Truth
24/10/2010 20:42

There would have been ZERO flotilla CAUSUALTIES ,
- IF the Turks had NOT tried to break a lawful blockade, OR
- IF the "activists" had resisted peacefully!!

However, Arabs clearly prefer to BLAME ISRAEL,
even though they are THE VICTIM,
just BECAUSE THEY SUCCEED too well, AT SELF-DEFENSE !!!!



2 ) d3mha / Palestine<3
25/10/2010 00:43
@Plain, it was on international water "SELF-DEFENSE !!!!"???????????????

3 ) Joe Fattal / USA
25/10/2010 01:53
Bunch of lousy assassins, to take them 30 bullets to kill one man. A hit man would have probably use one bullet.

4 ) Christopher / USA
25/10/2010 02:59
Israelis certainly succeed at piracy better than Somalis though. I'll grant you that.

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
25/10/2010 06:24
Reminds me. Remember the 'paintball guns' claim? It occurred to me -- why no photographs of spattered paint? Maybe it was special invisible paint. The kind people who are 'defending themselves' when they board a foreign ship in international waters use.

6 ) southparkbear / usa
25/10/2010 06:40
the sultan should pay for the costs of these bullets and the man hours dedicated by IDF to protect the flottila

7 ) Jerrold Cohen / USA
25/10/2010 07:35
So let's see...This woman takes a video of one of the soldiers knocking down one of the unarmed crew members. Then he is down on the floor and the soldier puts a foot on his neck, carefully aims, and kills him. And that was unavoidable? Too bad the Israelis didn't get all the memory cards when they stole the Turks' cameras. That memory card got away.

8 ) Peter Wilson / Lake Okareka NZ
25/10/2010 09:24
To plain truth and all others who perpetuate the lie. The blockade is illegal as determined by international law, therefore israels act of piracy on the high seas is nothing more than terrorism.

9 ) TJ / Petoria
25/10/2010 11:02
@d3mha they were wearing life vests, how could it be self defense????????? Oh right, life vests makes no diffrence to whether it was self defense or not just like international water.

10 ) southparkbear / usa
25/10/2010 13:26
I say do not accept turkey's appology for another 200 years. and sue them in small claim court for the cost of the bullets

11 ) Plain / Truth
25/10/2010 15:37
d3mha-2,

Intercepting the flotilla in international waters was NOT a good idea.
However, the flotilla's intention to run the blockade was clear!
Regarding self-defense, just watch videos:
- a Flotilla video shows armed "activists" shooting slingshots,
- an Israeli video shows "activists" swinging clubs, etc.!!


Peter-8,

Clearly, you have never read the UN's Law of the Sea!
Educate yourself and see that Israel could have sunk the vessels,
and then just picked-up survivors!!


12 ) Phil / UK
25/10/2010 19:46
#7) I didn't see that video Jerrold. And guess what? Neither did you!
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