It was early Monday morning as Israeli soldiers stormed the Gaza-bound international aid convoy called the Freedom Flotilla in international waters about forty miles off the coast of Gaza. The six ships had nearly 700 international activists on board and 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid. They were aiming to break the three-year-long siege of the Gaza Strip. Israeli commandos landed on the lead ship in the convoy, the Turkish Mavi Marmara, which had about 600 activists on board. At least ten and as many as nineteen civilians on board the ship have been reported to have died in the attack. Israeli troops proceeded to seize the Mavi Marmara and the five other ships and take them to the port of Ashdod. Hundreds of activists are being detained in an Israeli prison, and nearly fifty others have been deported. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the attack and called for the immediate release of the ships and the civilians held by Israel and called for an impartial investigation. All the permanent members of the Security Council except for the United States explicitly called for Israel’s three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip to be lifted. Turkey has compared Israel’s actions to state terrorism. We speak to Adam Shapiro, Amira Hass, Ali Abunimah and Richard Falk.
Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and a board member of the Free Gaza Movement.
Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.
Richard Falk, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories.
Amira Hass, columnist with Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper and the only Israeli journalist to have spent several years living in and reporting from Gaza and the West Bank.[The report on the Freedom Flotilla starts at 16:30. You can start the video then slide the pointer to that time.]
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