The Qatar-based media network Al Jazeera has published on its website a series of harrowing eyewitness accounts from survivors of Israel’s military raid on a flotilla of ships bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza. An example is published below. To read the full list, visit www.english.aljazeera.net.
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Haneen Zabi, member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament): “We were expecting the Israeli army to stop us, to prevent us from entering but surely we didn't expect such a war against us.
“It was 14 ships, which approached us nearly at 4.30 in the morning. On the second floor of the ship there were just passengers who are journalists, a nurse and organisers of the flotilla who didn't have anything in their hands.
“After 20 minutes, maybe 15 minutes, there were three dead bodies.”
Hazem Farouq, Egyptian MP from the Muslim Brotherhood: “Helicopters were flying above us ... They rained us with sound and gas bombs as if we were in real war.
“Four people died before my eyes and in my hands. We could not find any first aid material. What happened required a field hospital to treat the injured ... When we tried to carry the injured, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow men to carry the wounded. They pointed their guns with laser light toward their heads. They asked women to carry the wounded.”
Norman Peech, former German parliamentarian: “This was a very serious offence, this was a war crime. I personally saw two and a half wooden sticks which were used [by activists]. We had not prepared in any way to fight. We didn't even consider it.
“No violence, no resistance — because we knew very well that we would have absolutely no chance against soldiers like this.”