Rachel Corrie Intercepted;
The 9 activists killed last Monday were shot 30 Times

Wire services reported early Saturday morning that the Rachel Corrie had been intercepted by Israeli war ships and that its communications had been jammed by the Israelis. The ship, which had set off from Ireland, was intended to land at Gaza with humanitarian supplies. International bodies estimate that only 25% of needed supplies are getting into Gaza past the Israeli blockade.

The Irish Foreign Minister, Micheal Martin, says that he believes that the aid ship should be allowed to offload its humanitarian supplies at Gaza.

The nine bodies of aid workers that the Israeli authorities returned to Turkey have now been subjected to an autopsy, and it turns out that the nine were shot 30 times altogether by nine millimeter bullets. Most of the gunshots were from very close range, and some wounded the activists in the back of the head or in the back, suggesting that they were shot as they tried to run away. Only one body had just one entry wound, apparently that of a photographer who was sitting down when shot between the eyes. Targeting photographers suggests suppression of evidence of a crime, not self-defense. Multiple shots from close range also sounds more like venting than like self-defense. If you were menaced by an advancing crowd, would you stand around shooting the same person 4 times? Would you bother to shoot anyone in the back? (Remember, the shots came from close range, so it wasn’t that people were killed accidentally at a distance when the commandos missed their close-up target).

The aid workers maintain that 6 people are still missing, suggesting that the death toll may be 15, not 9 (Israeli Army radio reported 16 dead early on Monday, and surely they knew). You wonder if they had an impromptu burial at sea to get rid of the evidence (forensic analysis of the bodies would be eloquent about Israeli tactics).

Abbas al-Lawati says that Monday’s attack on the Mavi Marmara came in three stages– first stun grenades were tosed on deck; then an attempt was made to board from the sea, which failed. And then rubber bullets were deployed from above, which, however, killed or injured aid workers, enraging some of them…

Shane Dillon of Ireland, who was on one of the other ships, “said the Israelis had used stun guns, assaulted people with the butt ends of rifles, pushed people to the ground and stood on them.”

20 Responses

  1. Latest news as of 1:48 PM Pacific Coast time from @IDFSpokesperson on Twitter:

    Update the Rachel Corrie has now rejected 4th request by IDF Navy to dock @ Ashdod Port, transfer aid by land. Ship not boarded.

  2. If you’re on Twitter, do a search for #Flotilla and/or #RachelCorrie and follow the situation as it unfolds. Right now, the only information getting out is from the IDF which issues fairly frequent updates. The ship is cut off from all communications – cell, satellite, everything – so the IDF is currently the only info source as to the situation.

    I find it remarkable that the IDF has not yet tried to board the ship.

  3. Per the Malaysian Perdana Peace organization four minutes ago, 1:50 Pacific Coast time:

    The Rachel Corrie has been forcibly seized by the Israeli navy and is being towed to Ashdod. All on board are reported safe. From Perdana

  4. Lets see, re: MV Rachel Corrie, adding hijacking and kidnaping to Israel’s stellar list of crimes against humanity is it? Doubtlessly the toadies will be in full chorus again. It is going to be a long summer. Israel’s government is concerned about legitimacy, maybe it and its sponsor should begin acting in a legitimate manner, in accordance with law.

  5. I don’t know where they’re getting their info, but now it’s said the IDF has NOT boarded yet. Somebody is doing a hell of a lot of disinformation…This is about the third time we’ve had reports they’ve been boarded. Apparently nobody can READ or understand English.

    The IDf Spokesperson told me five seconds ago directly: The Corrie has NOT been boarded as of 2:19 PM Pacific Coast time!

  6. Any other country doing this will be accused of piracy , act of war but no being israel seems to be all you need to have a pass on anything.

  7. IDF now says the Corrie permitted the IDF to board by sea, no helicopters. Corrie will be towed to Ashdod and goods allegedly distributed to Gaza by land crossings.

    This as of 2:42 AM Pacific time.

  8. What the hell.

    The aid workers maintain that 6 people are still missing, suggesting that the death toll may be 15, not 9 (Israeli Army radio reported 16 dead early on Monday, and surely they knew).

    Why is this not being reported. Israel adding kidnapping to its list of national disgraces now.

    • One of the Canadian participants, whose role it was to give time to some journalists to transmit their stories by blocking a doorway on the ship, in a news article points out that “Sixteen people were murdered on the boat, my boat.”

  9. “Targeting photographers suggests suppression of evidence of a crime, not self-defense. ”

    Indeed. And stealing (and suppressing publication of) films made by the Mavi Marmara activists even more suggests suppression (spoliation of evidence). See my essay touching on spoliation. No court, and no-one else, should allow any evidence whatever produced by Israel until the flotilla’s films are returned to the activists (so they may be submitted in evidence).

  10. “If you were menaced by an advancing crowd, would you stand around shooting the same person 4 times?”

    Not to disagree with any part of your post, with which I agree totally, and not to try to diminish your outrage, which I share totally, but given the rate of fire of the Israeli automatic weapons, it might be difficult to shoot them less than four times. The issue might be boarding with the weapons “locked and loaded.”

      • While they do exist, rifles using 9 mm ammunition are not typical. 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm are by far more common (and these are in fact rounds for most standard infantry weapons). Weapons using 9 mm rounds are normally reserved for tactical pistols, semi-automatic and automatic. If pistols were used in this scenario, the shots would have been made at close quarters where the targets would have been in plain view of the shooters.

        It is difficult to reconcile the notion that the killings were anything other than intended (“pour encourager les autres”) given previous experiences of IDF’s doctrine of disproportionality (eg. OP Cast Lead).

  11. link to thedailybeast.com

    My Gaza Flotilla Diary – by Henning Mankell

    “On board the plane, the air hostess gives me a pair of socks. Because mine were stolen by one of the commandos who attacked the boat I was on.

    The myth of the brave and utterly infallible Israeli soldier is shattered. Now we can add: They are common thieves. For I was not the only one to be robbed of my money, credit card, clothes, MP3 player, laptop; the same happened to many others on the same ship as me, which was attacked early one morning by masked Israeli soldiers, who were thus in fact nothing other than lying pirates.”

    “Now it is still all left to do. So as not to lose sight of the goal, which is to lift the brutal blockade of Gaza. That will happen.

    Beyond that goal, others are waiting. Demolishing a system of apartheid takes time. But not an eternity.”

  12. I believe the Flotilla 13 fighters were carrying semiautomatic Glock 9mm pistols, which can be fired fairly quickly–three or possibly four times per second. People in close range fights involving knifes, clubs, and pistols can twist, turn, and spin around rapidly, causing entrance wounds in the side and back. It’s also possible that some people were shot in the back while they were attacking other people to their front. The video I’ve seen suggests the deck of the ship was a scene of near total chaos.

    A single wound from a 9mm bullet, especially a full metal jacketed military one, does not necessarily produce instant, or even rapid, incapicitation. Highly trained special forces operators will often fire multiple shots at close range. For example, the three IRA volunteers shot by the SAS in Gibraltar in 1988 were hit a total of 29 times.

  13. When using lethal force in close quarters ist’s standard operating procedure to shoot targets multiple times to ensure they’re actually dead.

    I agree that this was a tactical and strategic blunder on Israel’s part, but shooting 9 people 30 times is a product of training, not venting.

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