Hurriyet photos of disarmed Israeli commandos receiving medical care


(Photo via Ali Abunimah)

On the Mavi Marmara, the ship that Benjamin Netanyahu has dubbed “the hate boat”, Israeli soldiers who had been hurt were given medical aid. But some of the civilians who had been shot ended up dying because the Israelis refused to have them evacuated.

Accounts provided by activists on board claim that the first Israeli commandos to land on the ship were forcibly disarmed and then taken below deck for their own safety. Photographs now published by Turkey’s leading newspaper, Hürriyet, support this claim.

Soldiers from any military force rely on their weaponry to maintain their image of power. The Israeli military is no different from any other in wanting to avoid having the vulnerability of its own elite soldiers highlighted. What these photographs reveal, however, is that once these particular soldiers were no longer able to defend themselves, they were not lynched. On the contrary, they were taken out of harms way.

Given the terror that Israelis experience when faced with the risk of having soldiers taken hostage, it appears that one element in the over-reaction of the remaining armed commandos was that they thought it inconceivable that any of their comrades could be held without coming to further harm.

Humiliation and fear.

Was this the context in which enraged soldiers decided that they would then set about teaching their adversaries a lesson?

Did nine men, many of whom were well past an age where it seems at all likely they were engaged in any kind of combat, then become scapegoats?

Were the deaths on the Mavi Marmara the result of a few soldiers demonstrating their military muscle in a desperate effort to restore their tattered pride?






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Comments

  1. Police the wor4ld over are given to “punishing” when they should be doing “law enforcement.” Soldiers, too, it seems. This is well-known and should be especially well-known in Israel.

    Therefore, the orders are especially important, to see how well the officers directed the soldiers toward (or away from) restraint. The fact that there were “kill” orders given to the soldiers means that the whole action was within a context of “punishment” or “war” rather than ‘police action”. The soldiers were pre-programmed to misbehave. The night attack (the previous day or next day were surely available for ship interception, after all) and the assassination list, along with the confiscation of the activists’ videos, taken together, make it seem an operation deliberately directed toward unnecessary (and unlawful) violence.

  2. Jeff Honings says

    I find anything that comes from US or Israel gov’t is unbelievable. I salute the bravery of the people on board the Mavi Marmara. The ones who tried to protect the IDF soldiers but especially the ones who had the backbone to stand up to armed soldiers bent on humiliating the Turks. This idea of the poor, poor soldiers is absurd. Once again the proportionality of response is way skewed by Israel. The unwavering support of my US gov’t is greatly to blame for the behavior of Israel. There will be no peace in ME ’til there is fairness. Israel has deluded itself with help of rabid pro-Iz support from u.s. congress, prez etc. I support any form of boycott availible to punish Israel.

  3. Hate is obviously the only word (and emotion) that Netanyahu knows. The orders given to the commandos were likely framed in hate.

    How many tragedies will it take before the truth penetrates the Israeli armour against reality that their acting out of hate is now primarily responsible for fueling the hate they receive. Unfortunately both sides are too good at hating to change on their own. It means that the rest of the world is going to need to provide more and more peaceful protesters until the lesson sinks in. More Freedom Flotillas, more aid convoys, and more BDS.

  4. Wonkeyduddle says

    what these photos undeniably prove is that what Israelis had said was TRUE all along – the lawful boarding party enforcing a wartime blockade around a war zone was met with illegal resistance and violence; the kidnapped soldiers are clearly seen stabbed here, with grave injuries. It is also clearly evident that at this point there was yet NO SHOOTING by the Israeli soldiers.

    Just try to imagine what the marines would do. And, your headline is despicably deceitful beyond contempt.

    Admit you were taken up by lies, too eager to believe any horrible dehumanizing invention about Israel. Repent, be shamed, and try to learn facts before spreading lies the next time.

  5. Wonkeyduddle says

    Moreover, what these photos clearly reveal, is that just as Israelis had claimed, the first party descended on ship unarmed and in very small number. Only after the deadly illegal violence with which they were met became apparent, that next parties of soldiers went in fully armed to rescue the kidnapped soldiers. Since by the very fact of attacking the soldiers these activists made themselves a combatants in the war zone, they were liable to be shot and killed on site, like any enemy soldier in a war.

    San Remo Manual on INTERNATIONAL LAW Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994:
    SECTION V:
    67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be ATTACKED unless they:
    (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or BREACHING a BLOCKADE, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly REFUSE to STOP, or intentionally and clearly RESIST visit, search or CAPTURE;

    And that is the proper *context* here. Mavi Marmamra could have been LAWFULLY SUNK for resisting capture. It wasn’t.

  6. I love every apologist for Israel (hello Wonkeyduddle) on every single Internet forum inevitably cites San Remo. First of all, it’s not clear if San Remo applies since Hamas/Gaza is not a state. Second, the pro-Israel apologists should consider the relevant provisions of San Remo:

    102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:

    (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
    (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

    The humanitarian crisis the blockade has created has been well-documented by objective observers. Furthermore, there is numerous evidence that the aim of blockade is intended to diminish political support for Hamas and/or punish the population of Gaza for the capture of Gilad Shalit. So even if Israel has the theoretical right to impose a blockade of Gaza, the aim of the blockade and the manner which it has been imposed it makes it illegal:

    Also, these provisions of San Remo are applicable:

    105. A belligerent cannot be absolved of its duties under international humanitarian law by establishing zones which might adversely affect the legitimate uses of defined areas of the sea.

    AND
    106. Should a belligerent, as an exceptional measure, establish such a zone:

    (a) the same body of law applies both inside and outside the zone;
    (b) the extent, location and duration of the zone and the measures imposed shall not exceed what is strictly required by military necessity and the principles of proportionality;
    (c) due regard shall be given to the rights of neutral States to legitimate uses of the seas;
    (d) necessary safe passage through the zone for neutral vessels and aircraft shall be provided:
    (i) where the geographical extent of the zone significantly impedes free and safe access to the ports and coasts of a neutral State;
    (ii) in other cases where normal navigation routes are affected, except where military requirements do not permit; and
    (e) the commencement, duration, location and extent of the zone, as well as the restrictions imposed, shall be publicly declared and appropriately notified.

    In reference to enemy ships, which this was not, there is also this rule:

    Part III, Section III
    52. If any other class of vessel exempt from attack breaches any of the conditions of its exemption in paragraph 48, it may be attacked only if:

    (a) diversion or capture is not feasible;
    (b) no other method is available for exercising military control;
    (c) the circumstances of non-compliance are sufficiently grave that the vessel has become, or may be reasonably assumed to be, a military objective; and
    (d) the collateral casualties or damage will not be disproportionate to the military advantage gained or expected.

  7. I love every apologist for Israel (hello Wonkeyduddle) on every single Internet forum inevitably cites San Remo. First of all, it’s not clear if San Remo applies since Hamas/Gaza is not a state. Second, the pro-Israel apologists should consider the relevant provisions of San Remo:

    102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:

    (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
    (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

    The humanitarian crisis the blockade has created has been well-documented by objective observers. Furthermore, there is numerous evidence that the aim of blockade is intended to diminish political support for Hamas and/or punish the population of Gaza for the capture of Gilad Shalit. So even if Israel has the theoretical right to impose a blockade of Gaza, the aim of the blockade and the manner which it has been imposed it makes it illegal.

  8. Peter42y says

    curiously these pictures do confirm what israel did said : That the killings took place because commandos were beaten by the
    activists. It is somewhat ironic that the turks are aiding Israel version of events.
    When it comes to being shot in the head , at close range does not mean they were executed in cold blood. Commandos are taught to shoot to the head in order to neutralise the thread. At close range is not surprising either . The fight was a close fight, there were dozens of activists and many commandos in a closed space.

  9. David Moore says

    I really wish people would get away from whether or not Israel had the legal right to stop a ship. The larger legal issue is not “if” but “how” they stopped the ship. The US Navy stops and boards ships all the time in the Gulf. Even I, as a yacht owner, have been stopped and boarded. It is the same with “sobriety checkpoints.” On the ocean, you stop a ship, “ask” for permission to board, send a boarding party, and search the ship. It is the “how” that needs to be condemned ad nauseum, which is going in guns blazing. Can you imagine cops shooting car engines and drivers BEFORE they even signal to pull over? Whenever the police (or Coast Guard) pull up with lights I cut the engine. I don’t like it, and I personally think searches like checkpoints are illegal, but it is ALWAYS how the police act that makes the search illegal after the fact. I am, BTW, a Viet Vet, so I searched plenty in my day.

  10. Richard Parker says

    What would have been the reaction if armed masked goons dressed in black had rappelled down (with covering fire) into morning prayers in a synagogue?

  11. Someone with OPEN EYES says

    What are you people talking about???
    Bring the soldiers to safety? how? by attacking them, taking their arms and making them bleed? How blind can you be to your cause???
    And what’s this talk about landing on the boat with guns blazing? If that was the case, NONE of the soldiers would be bleeding and none would be disarmed, you dumb idiots!
    WAKE UP PEOPLE! YOU ARE INVENTING SCENARIOS FOR YOUR PURPOSE AND CAUSE!!!!