EXTENSIVE COVERAGE AS IT HAPPENS: Gaza Flotilla Operation [UPDATED 12:30PM IL]

23

EXTENSIVE “MINUTE-BY-MINUTE” COVERAGE IN EXTENDED ARTICLE!

 6:23AM IL: According to reports quoting Hamas and Turkish NTV media sources, there are dead and wounded on the Gaza flotilla vessels as the Israel Navy commandeered the vessels. There is no confirmation of the reports from any Israeli source. There are also no reports that any live gunfire was used, adding confusion to the Arab media reports of ‘dead and wounded’, possibly part of the ongoing attempt to portray Israel as the aggressor.

The report says that commando forces landed on at least one of the vessels, lowered from a chopper, throwing stun grenades while the passengers on the boat shouted “we are unarmed”. Earlier, the vessels ignored navy instructions, backtracking with the intention of changing course.

On Sunday night, six navy vessels left the Haifa Port area heading to the three Gaza flotilla vessels. A warning message was sent by the navy to the Turkish vessel, leading the others. An estimated 600 people are on board the vessels, which were admittedly taken by surprise, not expecting a standoff with the navy so far out at sea. The navy declared the area a ‘closed military zone’, instructing the vessels to turn around and leave the area.

In a media statement released on Sunday night, the IDF explained the commando force left Haifa heading for the vessels to turn them around and avoid “a provocative incident in Gazan waters”.

Agencies confirm that the navy made contact with officials on the lead ship on Sunday night, with naval officials seeking to ascertain who is onboard that vessel and their intentions. They report they were instructed to wear lifejackets.

Participants in the self-proclaimed humanitarian operation add that Israel was intermittently blocking satellite telephone broadcasts from the vessels. The al-Jazeera Arab satellite network reports that one of the vessels separated, taking a different route than the others to avoid the navy blockade.

YWN-ISRAEL will continue providing coverage on the flotilla standoff.

6:54AM IL: Hamas affiliated TV reports three dead on one of the flotilla vessels. Turkish NTV reports the Israel Navy is in control of the flotilla vessels, which were stopped at sea to prevent their arrival in Gazan waters.

7:00AM IL: According to Turkish media reports, hundreds of anti-Israel protestors took to the streets during the night at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara as well as outside of the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul in support of the passengers on board the Gaza flotilla vessels.

7:05AM IL: Israeli sources are now reporting the Israel Navy is in control of all three of the flotilla vessels and the boats are en route to the Port of Ashdod. There is no Israeli mention of dead or wounded at this time.

7:13AM IL: According to a report from a credible Israeli source, naval commandos who boarded the vessels came under attack, leading to the injured and possibly fatalities, which were reported earlier by the Turkish media.

7:18AM IL: Various reports – seven people admitted to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, one listed in serious condition. Al-Jazeera reports as many as 50 injured. Other media reports indicated as many as 7 dead. Once again, there is no Israeli confirmation of any fatalities at this time.

7:24AM IL: According to Haaretz quoting AP, protestors in Turkey are trying to storm the Israeli consulate. Arab MKs are calling on the international community to condemn “Israeli aggression” against humanitarian relief workers. They are demanding the Israeli Arab community take to the streets in protest.

7:32AM IL: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Israel’s ambassador to file a protest over Israel’s decision to launch a military operation against the vessels.

7:37AM IL: It appears the naval commando mission began at about 4am, with elite forces boarding the vessels from rafts and lowered from a chopper hovering overhead. Shots were heard as commandos sprayed teargas. The vessels are under Israel Navy control according to all reports at this time, en route to the Port of Ashdod. A number of people have been transported to the emergency room of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center. There are reports from numerous sources of two fatalities.

7:40AM IL: A gag order has been imposed on details of the naval operation, including the number of dead and wounded. Israel Radio reports there are wounded among the Israel Shayetet commando force. MDA and Israel Police move to high alert nationwide amid ongoing calls for protests by Arab MKs.

7:45AM IL: Israel Prison Authority forces heading to the Port of Ashdod to take prisoners into custody. Beersheva Prison has been prepared for this eventuality. Israel Police are being deployed to “problematic areas” as unrests are expected with increasing reports of as many as 12 dead in the joint Israel Navy and air force operation on the Gaza flotilla vessels.

7:47AM IL: Ships are being directed to the Port of Haifa, not Ashdod as planned earlier in an apparent move to avoid the waiting international media at Ashdod. Reports speak of 10-14 dead. This number has not been confirmed by any Israeli sources at this time.

7:55AM IL: Experts in Israel report one must realize this was a Turkish effort intended at compromising Israel’s standing in the international community, explaining commando forces landing on the “humanitarian vessels” were attacked with pipes and other blunt objects. “If their intentions were truly humanitarian, a solution could easily have been reached by accepting Israel’s offer to deliver the humanitarian cargo to Gaza, but this was not at all the real mission”, one analyst told Israel Radio.

7:56AM IL: Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon moves to alert status. Protests gaining momentum in Turkey and Lebanon, calling for “Death to Israel”.

 Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has established a situation room to monitor the events.

8:05AM IL: Turkey’s NTV reporting 2 dead and over 50 injuries as commandos stormed the flotilla vessels. There were earlier reports that the ships were being redirected to the Port of Haifa, but it appears they will be arriving at the Port of Ashdod as planned, under a media blackout, where waiting Yassam anti-riot Israel Police troops will take charge of the prisoners on board the three vessels.

There are mounting calls for protests heard in Israeli Arab communities, and there are unconfirmed reports that among the dead on the vessels is Sheikh Rayed Salach, the head of the northern branch of the Israel Islamic Association. Arab MKs are releasing condemnatory messages against Israel, calling on the international community to condemns Israel’s “barbaric” assault against unarmed humanitarian volunteers onboard the vessels.

Israel Police and Magen David Adom remain on heightened alert status and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon remain on alert to receive wounded from the joint naval air force operation.

8:07AM IL: Three of the injured arrived at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv, with one listed as serious and the others moderate-to-light.

8:09AM IL: According to NTV and al-Jazeera reports, there are 14 or 15 dead among the left-wing activists. Commando forces came under a barrage of attacks on one vessel, with the humanitarians using pipes, knives and blunt objects. Once again, these reports are based on foreign unconfirmed reports as the information in Israel is limited, based on various agencies and under a media blackout. Commandos apparently used teargas and when the assaults did not subside, they were compelled to use live ammunition.

There are confirmed reports of two injured naval commandos, who are not in any life-threatening situation Baruch Hashem. The injured have been transported to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv.

Israeli Arabs are doing their utmost to incite, calling on the international community to condemn Israel’s brutality and “barbaric actions”, as anti-Israel protests are reported outside the Israeli Embassy and Consulate in Turkey and in Lebanon.

There are conflicting reports as to what port the detainees will be taken to, Haifa or Ashdod.

Once again, real-time reports from numerous local and foreign sources demand changing facts as the picture begins to unfold and the fog and media blackout surrounding the complex mission begin becoming wane.
8:17AM IL: Speaking from Qatar, Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) told Israel Radio “no one cares to report or remember that we left Gaza, withdraw our forces and ended any presence, yet the world will portray Israel as it wishes. We are not training our forces for such actions, against civilians, but at the end of the day, we must protect our home, our residents and our children, and while the deaths are most unfortunate, we must protect ourselves”.

8:21AM IL: Defense Minister Ehud Barak is conferring with senior advisors at this time. CNN reporting from Turkey shows hundreds of protestors trying to break into the Israeli Consulate.

8:33AM IL: MK (Kadima) Nachman Shai, the famed IDF spokesman during the First Gulf War, told Israel Radio that “time is of the essence and with each hour that passes without a definitive high-level Israeli statement, we begin to lose the public relations battle…at present, we are still in control and we must maintain this…this is not a job for the IDF spokesman, but for the government, the Foreign Minister, a high-level official source”.

Shai calls on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to return home and address this critical issue as Turkey and other seek to manipulate the international media against Israel.

8:56AM IL: Maariv reports Turkish police have entered the residence of the Israeli Ambassador to protect him against a growing angry local mob as anti-Israel protests continue.

8:59AM IL: Greta Berlin, spokesperson for the flotilla spoke with Israel Radio minutes ago. She stressed all passengers on board the six ships are civilians, journalists, activists and politicians.

“There were 30 cameras on board the Turkish ship. The minute their feet hit the deck, they started shooting. You see it on the video” states Greta Berlin, spokesperson for the Gaza flotilla.

The Israel Radio correspondent spoke in English and then translated to Hebrew for the listening audience.

GRETA: There are 600 people from around the world. There are activists, members of parliament, there are journalists. They are all civilians. Everyone of us is trying to break Israel’s blockage of 1.5 million Palestinians.

ISRAEL RADIO: Let me ask you a question. Why didn’t you accept Israel’s offer to bring the goods through the Port of Ashkelon to Gaza. You could have accepted the idea and by that you could have broken the Israeli blockade as well.

GRETA: Because you don’t tell the truth. You would never have delivered any of those supplies to Gaza because all of the supplies that we are bringing in are on the list of 2000 items that the people of Gaza cannot have to rebuild they society. So you never would have, you never would have permitted the supplies in. I do not believe the Israelis because every time one of your officials talks about bringing the supplies to Ashdod, they say food, clothing, and medicine. We don’t have any of that on board. We have cement, paper, water filtration systems, the things that will help the people of Gaza rebuild, and you do not allow those things in.

ISRAEL RADIO: So basically what you are saying is that there is no way that Israel would have allowed bringing these supplies to Gaza via Ashdod. It would have stayed in Ashdod.

Did you expect violence on the ship? Is that something you thought was going to happen?

GRETA: We never thought Israel would be stupid enough to kill 10 people and wound at least 30. There is something that has happened to your country that seems to feel it is okay to kill unarmed citizens, perhaps because you are used to killing unarmed Palestinians.

ISRAEL RADIO: Speaking in Hebrew now for audience, explains the other side is the IDF force was assaulted, with blunt objects, batons and knives. The picture remains unclear but there are reports that 10 people were killed.

BACK TO ENGLISH – Greta Berlin, the spokesperson for the Gaza aid ships, thank you much for talking with us this morning.

GRETA: I hope you translated accurately, the way I said it.

ISRAEL RADIO: Believe me, I translated every word the way you said it.

GRETA: Thank you I know.

ISRAEL RADIO: I am a journalist. I am an Israeli but I am a journalist.

GRETA: I am at a disadvantage.

ISRAEL RADIO: Okay, I am faithful to the truth. Thank you very much and good morning.

9:07AM IL: Israel police closing roads leading to Nachal I’ron (Wadi Ara), a main Israeli Arab area. Road being closed to Har HaBayis as well. The IDF has closed all passages to Gaza.

9:11AM IL: STATEMENT FROM IDF SPOKESMAN

The vessels taking part in the flotilla ignored the closure on Gazan waters and ignored all warnings from the Israel Navy. They warned them prior to boarding vessels and taking command. Offers to bring the humanitarian aid to Ashdod and to deliver the aid via land crossings into Gaza were ignored.

During the operation to take control over the vessels, the force was met with formidable opposition including various non-lethal weapons, batons, knives and live ammunition. Vessel activists grabbed a weapon from one of the commandos. The force used riot-control adjuncts in response, and eventually live fire. A number of the occupants of the vessels were killed and injured. Four naval commandos were injured, some from gunfire some from other weapons. One is in serious condition, one moderate and the others light.

The wounded were evacuated from the vessels to hospitals in Israel. The operation is being commanded by the Israel Navy commander, who is at sea.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has announced he is holding a press conference at 10:30am.

The Israel Arab Monitoring Committee is convening in emergency session in Nazareth at 9:30am to discuss the “slaughter”.

9:34AM IL: Commando forces are operating on the six vessels as they are towed to the Port of Ashdod. It will be hours before the vessels arrive, as Yassam anti-riot commando police forces prepare at the port. Beersheva prison officials are also preparing as the vessels are towed into harbor.

Many participants in the so-called humanitarian effort threw their IDs overboard to frustrate identification efforts.

At least one of the commandos injured by gunfire was shot with an IDF weapon as the violent activists on the vessel grabbed their weapons.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has phoned Turkey’s defense minister and foreign minister, detailing the commando operation, explaining how the force was attacked and describing the attempted lynch of force members.

The 10:30am live press conference by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Ayalon will be aired on the internet by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

10:00AM IL: The IDF’s official Hebrew and English websites do not carry any information of the day’s ongoing operation as of 9:50am as the world seeks official and accurate details of the naval commando operation against the Gaza flotilla.

The following statements made to Israel Radio by IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Avi Binayahu.

The operation is still ongoing, some 70-80 miles from out coast. Forces were met by formidable resistance, perhaps unprecedented. I can tell you what I already know with absolute certainty. During the night, we tried to open a channel of communications with the flotilla. Each of the six ships was contacted, offered to dock in the Port of Ashdod to transfer aid via land crossings to Gaza. All requests were met with refusal.

The commander of the navy, Admiral Eliezer Marom is personally overseeing the operation, present at the command post at sea.

Diplomatic efforts were made ahead of last night, then we did everything possible to reach out to the vessels, and only after all measures failed were naval commandos sent in. there was approximately 570 people. Commandos describe “a lynch” along with unexpected violence and hostility. One solder was stabbed in his abdomen. They did not act as “peace activists”. One soldier’s weapon was grabbed away and used against the force.

I cannot say if there were other weapons on the vessel.

We did not encounter peace activists, but violent people with knives, pipes, batons and weapons. Our force was indeed in life-threatening danger. They had to open fire. Reports indicate 10 or so dead. Our force sustained injuries as well, one soldier in moderate condition.

The injured were transported by chopper to hospitals. In the coming hours, the vessels will be taken to an Israeli port and they will be combed to see who is on board and exactly what cargo is carried.

It is important for me to stress the mission is the result of numerous failed attempts at diplomacy, and this was a planned and premeditated media and physical attack against our forces, orchestrated by Hamas and Iran, seeking to continue importing weapons into Gaza.

As a person and the IDF spokesman, I express sorrow of the entire incident, but when soldiers face large knives, batons and weapons, they are compelled to defend themselves.

We cannot know exactly who is on the vessel. During recent weeks, we used all channels at our disposal to advance diplomacy and dialogue, and all efforts were refused…

10:05am – MESSAGE FROM IDF SPOKESMAN’S OFFICE
Early this morning, IDF Naval Forces intercepted six ships attempting to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israel Navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid material which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.

During the intercept of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier.

The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire.

According to initial reports, these events resulted in over ten deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured, in addition, more than four naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.

Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.

The events are ongoing, and information will be updated as soon as possible.
Israeli Naval commander, Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom is overseeing the events.

In the coming hours, the ships will be directed to the Ashdod port, while IDF naval forces will perform security checks in order to identify the people on board the ships and their equipment. The IDF Spokesman conveys that this event is currently unfolding and further details will be provided as soon as possible.

This IDF naval operation was carried out under orders from the political leadership to halt the flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip and breaching the naval blockade.

The interception of the flotilla followed numerous warnings given to the organizers of the flotilla before leaving their ports as well as while sailing towards the Gaza Strip. In these warnings, it was made clear to the organizers that they could dock in the Ashdod sea port and unload the equipment they are carrying in order to deliver it to the Gaza Strip in an orderly manner, following the appropriate security checks. Upon expressing their unwillingness to cooperate and arrive at the port, it was decided to board the ships and lead them to Ashdod.

IDF naval personnel encountered severe violence, including use of weaponry prepared in advance in order to attack and to harm them. The forces operated in adherence with operational commands and took all necessary actions in order to avoid violence, but to no avail.

10:15AM IL: Knesset House Committee Chair MK (Likud) Yariv Levin announced today’s vote to revoke parliamentary privileges of Balad MK Hanin Zuabi, who was on board the Gaza flotilla, has been postponed in light of harsh events.

ISRAEL RADIO: The situation remains fuzzy as the boats are being towed to the Port of Ashdod, under naval guard.

AL-JAZEERA: The coverage in the international media is extremely limited at this time.

BBC: Israel naval commandos blundered the mission to halt the Gaza flotilla.

NTV: Dozens of protestors attempt to break into the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul. This remains the number one story in Turkey, with the death toll placed at 16.

ISRAEL RADIO: Ottawa Canada: PM Netanyahu awake and being apprised of ongoing events. He is monitoring the situation at 3am local time. No change in planned White House visit announced. No official message is being released at this time. The PM spoke with DM Barak and his military secretary, receiving details of the operation.

The prime minister is expected to hold a press conference in Ottawa at 6:00pm Israel time.

10:20AM IL – UPDATE ON THE WOUNDED & MORE
ISRAEL RADIO: 14 injured transported to Israel hospitals, including 5 soldiers, with one in serious condition. All the wounded were transported to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv and Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah.

According to Rambam Medical Center senior traumatologist Dr. Iran Tel-Ohr, four wounded have arrived in the trauma center and emergency room, two IDF soldiers and two foreign nationals.

One soldier has undergone emergency surgery for a knife wound, listed in non-life-threatening serious condition. The other soldier is listed in light condition.

The foreign nations are listed in serious and moderate condition.

**Syria is calling on the United Nations Security Council to convene in urgent session to condemn the Israeli atrocities.

**PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) calls on Arab League Chief Amr Moussa to convene and condemn Israeli operation.

**Shouts calling for “revenge against Israel” are heard by protestors outside the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul. Officials deny earlier reports of an attempt by protestors to storm the consulate.

10:50AM IL: None of the vessels have arrived in the Port of Ashdod, which remains closed to all members of the media at this time.

**: Gaza border communities in southern Israel ordered to prepare shelters fearing a resumption of Kassam rocket fire.

**Israeli Magic 1 luxury liner with 850 on board diverted by Ministry of Transportation, instructed to dock in Cyprus, not Turkey

**Turkish military chief of staff recalled home from visit to Egypt.

**ISRAEL RADIO: Sheikh Rayed Salach of Israel Islamic Association among the wounded. His condition remains unknown. 

**MAARIV: The European Union is demanding an immediate investigation into the Israeli commando operation at sea.

**IDF SPOKESMAN: 10 soldiers wounded in Gaza flotilla operation, sustaining light-to-moderate injuries.

**WALLA NEWS: Border police deployed throughout Nachal I’ron (Wadi Ara) area.

11:11AM IL: DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER D. AYALON – PRESS CONFERENCE
We regret loss of life… Had it been a humanitarian mission, all humanitarian supplies would be have been delivered… We do this on a daily basis. We asked them to do this via the appropriate channels, even the Red Cross, but to no avail.

Gaza is a corridor for smuggling arms into Gaza that have led to thousands of deaths.

We told the organizers that will not be allowed to break the maritime blockade as we are allowed according to law.

People on the ships did not heed the calls of our forces to bring a peaceful closure to this event.

No sovereign country would tolerate such violence against civilian population, against is sovereignty and international law. We call on all relevant parties and countries to work together towards calming the situation.

They refused to bring things for Gilad Shalit, in accordance to international law.

To our sorrow, they reverted to violence, and weapons that were turned against IDF forces. Some are known to be tied to terrorists, global Islamic terror elements, intended on this provocative action. The responsibility for the loss of life is with those who ignored efforts to bring the incident to a peaceful end, and on those who attacked IDF soldiers.

In his press conference, Ayalon declined to discuss diplomatic ramifications vis-à-vis Turkey. Asked about commandos operating in international waters, the deputy minister stated the criticism does not hold water, not according to international law and not morally. He adds there were weapons on board pointing to a premeditated violent act against naval commandos who boarded the vessels.

Hamas has a hand in this and of this we are certain. Over 12,000 rockets were fired by Hamas into southern Israel, and this we must remember. The Embargo on Gaza today is part of the ongoing Israeli war against Hamas terrorism. We and the international community continue to call on Gaza to abandon its terrorism as a means to an end. In the absence of compliance, it is our prerogative and obligation to act appropriately to halt the attacks.

The organization behind the flotilla, the IHH is well-known for its terrorist ties with al-Qaeda and Hamas, and we know the entire campaign was not humanitarian in nature, but to aid and support Hamas organizations and to bring terror supplies to Gaza and Hamas.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman remains in constant touch with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [who is in Ottawa].

In retrospect, after seeing the actions of those on board the vessel show we acted appropriately, and we now know for certain the mission was not humanitarian, but another attempt to turn the media against Israel and to bring weaponry into Gaza. Their actions were proof of their intentions, along with the mission’s refusal to bring humanitarian assistance to Gilad Shalit.

Quite the contrary, they ambushed IDF soldiers.

OFFICIAL FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT TO FOLLOW

11:35AM IL: IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Avi Binayahu cannot confirm Hamas reports that Sheikh Rayed Salach was killed in naval operation. He confirms the sheikh was on board the flotilla. Balad MK Hanin Zuabi is “alive and well” he adds.

**WALLA NEWS: Sheikh Kamil Hatib, deputy to Rayed Salach – Israel today does not only stand against the Arabs of Gaza, but the entire world. He told Channel 2 News that Salach was injured and undergoing emergency surgery. He adds Israel Islamic Movement has decided to call for protests in Israel’s Arab sector.

**CHANNEL 1: IDF Spokesman Binayahu reports handguns used against force were grabbed away from naval commandos.

**ISRAEL RADIO: EU calling upon Israel to immediately open Gaza crossings and permit humanitarian aid to enter.

**Kadima pulls planned no-confidence motion in Knesset today. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni stresses there is no opposition regarding support of IDF operation.

**Turkey, Spain & Greece have summoned the Israeli ambassador following the Gaza flotilla commando operation at sea.

**Several dozen protest naval operation in Nazareth.

**Arab media reports Sheikh Rayed Salach in critical condition following surgery. UNCONFIRMED by any Israeli sources.

**Defense Minister Ehud Barak to convene a press conference in the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv during the afternoon hours.

11:45AM IL: UPDATE FROM RAMBAM MEDICAL CENTER
Officials at Rambam Medical Center report that Sheikh Rayed Salach, the leader of the Israel Islamic Association Northern Branch is not in the hospital, contradicting Arab media reports. The sheikh is reported in critical condition, with some Arab media stating he died of his wounds earlier.

Hospital officials report eight of the wounded in the Flotilla operation are being treated in the Haifa facility. Another chopper landed a short time ago with four additional wounded. Details regarding the four are unavailable at this time.

The four who arrived earlier are listed in moderate and light condition, two IDF soldiers. The other two are foreign nationals, likely from Turkey but this is unconfirmed.

12:30PM IL: IDF SPOKESMAN OFFICE – UPDATE ON WOUNDED & MORE
Two IDF soldiers taking part in the Gaza flotilla operation sustained serious injuries in the operation.

20 flotilla activists were wounded, with eight being treated in Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Four others are admitted in Beilinson Hospital (Petach Tikvah), four in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital (Jerusalem) and three others are en route and others are in Tel Hashomer Hospital (Tel Aviv). [numbers confusing but this is what is reported]

According to reports from sea, on board the flotilla that was seeking to break the maritime closure on the Gaza Strip, IDF forces apprehended two violent activists holding pistols. The violent activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines.

YNET: Police are at Tel Hashomer Hospital seeking to validate reports the Sheikh Rayed Salach is in critical condition following surgery at that location.

WALLA NEWS: Over 200 protesting against IDF in Nazareth.

**12:25: Military sources in Israel report Rayed Salach is on board one of the boats heading for Israel. His condition is said to be good. He was not injured.

**Five passengers on a Turkish Airline flight to Istanbul opted to get off flight moments before takeoff. The incident occurred at Ben-Gurion International Airport, with the passengers announcing they refuse to fly with the Turkish airline in light of the events involving the Gaza flotilla.

**ISRAEL RADIO: Stormy anti-Israel protest in Jordan.

**First boat arrives in the Port of Ashdod.

**Dozens protest against Israel at Kalandia Ckpt.

**Over 200 protest against Israel in Nazareth.

 (Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)




23 COMMENTS

  1. They should have killed them all.

    These other countries media is so full of lies that they might as well make it true because Israel is always the aggresor and killing these “innocent” ppl what ever they do.

  2. speaktruth -It is apparent that you are not fluent in Torah. The Halacha clearly states that war is not a green light to randomly kill. Dovid HaMelech was not Zochei to inaugurate the Beis HaMikdash in his life time because there was too much blood on his hands, albeit, unintentional. All the more so for someone who intentionally kills multitudes.

    If the IDF killed people you can better believe that the odds are that it was necessary and not desired.

  3. #2
    With all the all-too-familiar outcry about public relations, public opinion, world opinion, Israel’s image etc, one has to remember that PR – as important as it might be – is not all in life. Definitely not all in military life. If force had to be used as to prevent the flotilla from going into Gaza – if there was no way around it – than PR becomes a secondary issue and will have to be dealt with later.

  4. to #1
    i agree The only “disaster” here was that these terrorists were not blown to pieces and that they are now getting free medical treatment in Israel

  5. What a way to wake up. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. YWN should block comments on this story in Israel’s interest.

  6. Oy Vey Obama, thought you would distract the world with abusing Bibi well Hashem had other plans. Bibi can’t come now and you can go back to plugging the hole in the Gulf, meanwhile WAR will break out in the middle east.

  7. I just saw a clip from the IDF spokesman and they are opening the containers in Ashdod and low and behold along with the humanitarian aid there is ammunition – “HOW SURPRIZING!!!”, (I suppose this will help part of the PR, but, unfortunately, they will always expect Israel to do what no other country would do…)

    If you want to have a look, here is the link:
    http://www.flix.co.il/tapuz/channel.asp?c=27

  8. #2 hakablan- you are right they blew it. i even heard barak on the radio declaring that the stuff they were bringing was not humanitarian aid! chochom ma nishtana! but you know , i am still not sure but i think that the Israeli’s have a real shita against what we think would be the correct approach to these kukus.

  9. who the heck is running israel? they knew this had to happen

    they have the video of these guys doing chants and singing songs about death to jews.

    why board the ship? why not just surround the flotilla?

    dumb.

    doesnt matter if ammo was found among the aid…now the terrorists will say israel planted it.

  10. Refuah Sheleima to all the Jewish soldiers who were injured and need rachamei shamayim. Keep in mind, they are the messengers that keep terror attacks to a minimum.

  11. Well, no matter what Israel does, it doesn’t matter anymore. The Flotilla was waiting for their opportunity to make a mistake and the whole world is condemming Israel. The whole world is entirely against us. Basically, it’s a very scary time for us and Hashem is sending these messages for Klal Yisrael to return to Him. Only Tefilah and Teshuvah can save us from this situation.

  12. We must all pray. I got someone to say the “Mi sheberach” for the IDF this morning in shul after davening after being unable to get the gabbai to allow it after the Torah laining. (Not our minhag, he said.)

  13. It is also very important to contact our elected officials. Here is a letter I just sent to President Obama through the White House web site http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact:

    Dear President Obama,

    The tragic events in the Eastern Mediterranean of the past day must not let us lose sight of the fact that the flotilla was trying to run a blockade that was enforcing strict sanctions against a terrorist state that is at war. The United States itself enforced a strict blockade against the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865, against Japan during World War II, and against Cuba in 1962. While it is regretful that the people of Gaza must suffer, the blockade would be lifted instantly if Hamas would cease its campaign of violence against Israel and against Gazans and release Gilad Shalit from captivity. This is particularly important as we attempt to get sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran; without the ability to enforce such sanctions by naval action they will be meaningless. I urge you to continue to support Israel in its refusal to countenance support for a terrorist state on its border and in its right to inspect all goods that enter Gaza for potential weapons of violence.

    Sincerely,

    Charles B. Hall

  14. President Obama,

    What are the orders to American Navy Commandos when they politely request that such a flotilla breaking the rules and laws follow their directive and they receive a negative response? Are American Naval commanders ordered to look the other way or are they trained to do the same as the Israeli IDF soldiers? Let’s compare apples to apples!

  15. This was a double trap for Israel and there was nothing they could have done “right.” If they had let the “humanitarian” aid through then Israel would have completely coded any control over what gets into Gaza, and we’ve seen in the past what gets into Gaza – weapons that are used against Israeli civilians. On the other hand, any attempt to stop the flotilla was doomed to end in mayhem because those on board were prepared with weapons.

    Go Israel! Show the world that Hashem, Master of the Universe and Creator of all Life, gave the Jews the privilege of governing the Land of Israel, and that we are not afraid to defend it!

  16. Charlie Hall thank you for initiating a call for Letter Writing. There are so many ways to help our brothers in Israel and written support is one of them.