Philip Weiss writes, "In the eyes of much of the world, this was a massacre, the dead will be seen as martyrs, and the moral bankruptcy of the Jewish state revealed in sharper clarity than ever before."
Accordng to the Turkish newspaper Todays Zaman,
Turkish officials have denied claims leveled by Israeli authorities that weapons were onboard one of the six aid ships attacked by Israel on Monday.
See also Paul Woodward on Israeli Piracy Facing Armed Attack in International Waters
Officials from the Customs Undersecretariat said every passenger was searched before getting on the ship with the help of X-ray machines and metal detectors. Senior officials from the undersecretariat said Israel's allegations were tantamount to “complete nonsense.”
Officials from the Customs Undersecretariat said all passengers that boarded the Mavi Marmara ship were screened and that not a single passenger was in possession of any weapon. “Forty-two passengers boarded in İstanbul and 504 passengers got on the ship here. They were screened. We spotted no weapons and there is no such record in our logs. We did not notice anything suspicious about the Mavi Marmara. Had our officers had any suspicions, they would have reported it,” an official, speaking under the condition of anonymity, said.
The undersecretariat has cutting-edge technology at all ports and airports. In addition to advanced detectors and X-ray scanners, the undersecretariat uses highly trained sniffer dogs. In fact, there has been a great increase in the capture of criminals by teams of the Customs Undersecretariat, which uses the vessel monitoring system of the Marine Undersecretariat. Previously, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) was the only agency with access to this system.
Officials from the Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), the organization that organized the aid flotilla, also shared their opinions yesterday at a press conference. İHH officials say they were extremely concerned about the fate of those injured in Israel's attack, particularly since all communications have been cut off by Israeli officials.
İHH Vice President Yavuz Dede said: “We have explained that these ships comprised a humanitarian aid flotilla and were not, in any way, politically motivated. All the supplies on the ships had gone through customs control. There is absolutely no weaponry or ammunition on the ship. The people on the ship were not soldiers. They are members of civil society groups, members of the press and deputies. The people who went there had set to provided at least a bit of breathing space for the people there.”
Dede said they had expected Israel to make the false accusation that there were weapons on the ship in an attempt to legitimize the atrocious act of storming a humanitarian aid ship and killing people onboard. He said what happened was a shame for the entire human race.
He also condemned Israel's campaign of disinformation. Dede said that two people were killed and 30 wounded during the military assault, but noted that they could not follow later developments because communication with the ship had been lost. He said they were extremely worried by this situation, adding that they had expected some sort of intervention, but nothing like this. “We thought they would be more humane, but we saw a monstrous intervention,” Dede said.
And Richard Silverstein on Demands for International Investigation
Philip Weiss has some of the most incisive comments and sources:
- Facing armed attack in international waters
- Gaza responds to the freedom flotilla massacre
- American Jewish Committee rushes to justify attack
- How can Obama meet Netanyahu after this?
- Defensive ‘Times’ describes attack as ‘propaganda coup’ for ‘Israel’s foes’
- In Beirut– anger and devastation
- Reports – 19 people killed, 30-60 injured in Israeli attack on freedom flotilla
- Israeli version of events doesn’t pass laugh test
- Haaretz columnist calls on Netanyahu to stay home
- On board Gaza’s ‘freedom flotilla’
See also Free Gaza, and Al Jazeera,