From DPA news agency:
Israel to release activists detained after flotilla raid
Tue, 01 Jun 2010 20:40:57 GMT
Tel Aviv – Israel decided late Tuesday to release an estimated 600 activists detained in a naval commando raid on a six-ship flotilla bearing aid to the Gaza Strip.
The process was to start at night and would be completed in 48 hours, a government spokesman said following a meeting of cabinet ministers.
Israel earlier Tuesday deported about 50 pro-Palestinian activists, who were taken to Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv. Another 610 who refused to identify themselves, were being held in a prison in southern Israel.
The identities and nationalities of the nine people killed when Israeli soldiers battled it out with activists on board the largest ship in the flotilla early Monday, remained undisclosed.
The assault on the flotilla unleased a wave of condemnation against Israel, but on Tuesday Israeli leaders remained unapologetic and defiant.
This being “unapologetic and defiant” showed itself in blaming the unarmed activists on the ships, rather than the heavily armed Israeli commandos, for the bloodshed. The Israeli government and its supporters have repeated again and again that supposedly, the people on the ships were not really peace activists and tried to murder the Israeli soldiers. If you really believe that as a government, then it might be expected that you put the murder suspects on trial.
Why, then, set people whom you accuse of murder free without any charges? Because people in Israel are “Gandhi like” and forgive even their supposedly worst enemies? Well, people like that exist, also in Israel, but not in the present Rightist Israeli government coalition.
Very much more likely is that releasing the prisoners proves that the Rightist Netanyahu coalition in Israel does not believe its own propaganda about supposedly violent flotilla people.
Israeli forces detain journalists aboard humanitarian flotilla: here.
US Rep. Barney Frank: As a Jew I’m ashamed over treatment of Palestinians: here.
Fistfights broke out yesterday in the Israeli parliament (Knesset), when MK Hanin Zoabi, an Arab woman who had been on the aid flotilla to Gaza tried to speak: here.
From Al Jazeera:
Turkey holds activists’ funerals
Turkish forensic experts have confirmed that the nine activists killed during the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla were shot with guns.
Eight were Turks and one a US national of Turkish origin, the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday as funerals got under way in Istanbul.
The remaining activists, including some who were injured in the Israeli raid, landed in the Turkish city early on Thursday.
Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, who reported from the ship before the raid, was also sent to Turkey after being released by the Israelis.
He said that he witnessed some of the killings, and confirmed that at least “one person was shot through the top of the head from [the helicopter] above.”
Our correspondent was on the top deck when the ship was attacked and said that within a few minutes of seeing the Israeli helicopters, there were shots being fired from above.
Ali Haydar Bengi
“The first shots [coming from Israeli boats at sea] were tear gas, sounds grenades and rubber coated steel bullets. Live shots came five minutes after that. There was definitely live fire from the air and from the sea as well.”
He confirmed that some passengers took apart some of the ship’s railing bars to defend themselves as they saw the Israeli soldiers approaching.
“After the shooting and the first deaths, people put up white flags and signs in English and Hebrew. An Israeli [on the ship] asked the soldiers to take away the injured, but they did not and the injured died on the ship.”
Under Scrutiny, IDF Retracts Claims About Flotilla’s Al Qaeda Links: here.
From British daily The Morning Star:
On Wednesday Tel Aviv claimed that it had released all the activists who travelled aboard the six-ship flotilla.
But four Israeli Arab human rights workers who had been on the vessels were still in an Israeli prison yesterday.
Free Gaza Movement (FGM) board director Lubna Masarwa, Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, International Advocacy Programme for the Arab Association for Human Rights director Mohammed Zeidan and Sheik Hamed abu Dabis, the head of the southern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, will be held until at least June 8.
According to FGM, the four activists face “multiple serious criminal offences for their participation in a peaceful voyage to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.”
Until Palestine has its own ‘legitimized’ state within its internationally recognized borders, the Shadow will remain; by Margaret Atwood: here.
An ex-Israeli navy soldier on the flotilla: here.
THE Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said on Thursday 3 June that there were still missing people from the convoy that was detained by Israel when carrying aid to Gaza: here.
The attack by the Israeli military in general received the support of the majority of the Israeli public. This is not a shock because also the Gaza War (2009) and the Lebanon War (2006) received similar backing. However the difference is that the minority opposed to the attack on the Flotilla is much larger and, even better far more politically active in opposing the government: here.
Israel journalist union backs international calls for Gaza flotilla inquiry: here.
Spat or not, Turkey still using Israeli tech in attacks on Kurdish PKK rebels: here.
Jerusalem’s Gay Pride marches in face of religious extremists: here.
Christians United for Israel Linked with “Demon-Blasting” Church: here.