The humanitarian aid workers taken hostage by Israel on the high seas are beginning to be released, and they describe to the Associated Press a horrific scene when Israeli troops boarded the Mavi Marmara.
Norman Paech of the German Left Party said, “”Moments later, we heard detonations and then soldiers from helicopters above us dropped down on board . . . The soldiers were all masked, carrying big guns and were extremely brutal.”
Witnesses speak of seeing dead bodies scattered on the deck. Several of the dead are said to have been Turkish.
Passengers spoke of being beaten with batons and shocked with stun guns, as well as being shot at with both rubber bullets and life ammunition. AP writes:
‘ Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin told reporters in Istanbul that she and her baby son were hiding in her cabin’s bathroom on the Marmara when Israeli soldiers rappelled onto the ship. “There was a massacre on board,” Cetin said. “The ship turned into a lake of blood.” ‘
Israel accuses some of the passengers of fighting back.