I should have known better than wishing such a thread would not derail... Can we try to gather as much elements as possible and not judge yet ? Can't we just admit that both side were able of major fuck-ups and try to get the chronology of events ?
Here is a video from the other side. I wish I understood Arabic but about 1/3rd is commented in English :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB-Mk4bFz-U
It could be a backlighting effect with the powerful boat lights but it appears to be made of sequences in non chronological order. The video shows the arrival of Israeli soldiers and quite confirms that they were fought and beaten once they landed on the deck (I find it astounding that none of them died. I simply don't understand how this is possible if the crowd really had axes and knives). The ship's crew also claims that they were being shot live ammunition and stun grenades despite a white flag being raised. It is unclear whether they raised it before or after the assault. I understand that they raised the flag after the helicopter assault, but the casualty counts makes it unclear (only one died of wounds at the time). If someone speaks Arabic, could you please give us a more precise account of the claims ? From what I understand, there was at least tear gas being shot at the boat before the assault.
There is one thing I don't understand however : the deck is full of people, very agitated. The Israeli helicopter sees it very clearly. The crew is not collaborative at all. So why do they send troops in the middle of the crowd ? This looks like a very poor decision (just to be clear, I really don't care about the right or wrong, I am just looking at this from a purely tactical perspective, please don't assign "good guy" or "bad guy" value to any of my remarks, I am just uninterested by this). Did the soldiers/helicopter pilot have IR vision ?
One scenario this video and the Israeli's video disproves is the ambush scenario : the crew members were in the open, their weapons were completely improvised. If it had been an ambush, at least the first two Israeli soldiers would have been killed. The first one at one moment had at least three people over him. If one had a knife and intent to kill, the soldier would be dead.
On the legal standpoint I still have a hard time believing that boarding a boat in international waters is legal. I would love more details on that.
Dream wrote:With two soldiers. One in the helicopter, one on the rope. Guess which one shoots. Miraculously, that wouldn't show up in the video at all.
Actually, it would -- it'd take the form of activists running for cover instead of engaging soldiers in the open.
Keep in mind that it was night, that shots were also allegedly arriving from other ships and that an helicopter's noise can make it quite hard to know were the shots come from.
But I must say that I would be surprised if the soldiers in the helicopter did not respond to the attack of their colleagues. At this point the fuck-up was already inevitable.
Also, Israelis probably have the footages of the whole operation. I would like to see how they killed the 19 activists, that would clear up a lot of questions and quite possibly clean them of many allegations.