Report: Autopsies Suggest Israelis Shot Flotilla Activists Execution-Style at Close Range
Israel was tonight under pressure to allow an independent inquiry into its assault on the Gaza aid flotilla after autopsy results on the bodies of those killed, obtained by the Guardian, revealed they were peppered with 9mm bullets, many fired at close range.
Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice today.
The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine.
The findings emerged as more survivors gave their accounts of the raids. Ismail Patel, the chairman of Leicester-based pro-Palestinian group Friends of al-Aqsa, who returned to Britain today, told how he witnessed some of the fatal shootings and claimed that Israel had operated a "shoot to kill policy".
He calculated that during the bloodiest part of the assault, Israeli commandos shot one person every minute. One man was fatally shot in the back of the head just two feet in front him and another was shot once between the eyes. He added that as well as the fatally wounded, 48 others were suffering from gunshot wounds and six activists remained missing, suggesting the death toll may increase.
The new information about the manner and intensity of the killings undermines Israel's insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defence and in response to attacks by the activists.
Speaking of 'undermining Israel's insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defense,' the Guardian reports today that "all but one of the bullets retrieved from the bodies came from 9mm rounds." That's interesting, because, as Yaniv Reich noted earlier, " we were informed [yesterday] by a navy officer that navy commandos don’t carry 9mm guns, and that the empty 9mm casings were proof that the humanitarian activists had brought guns with them."
The entire Israeli narrative is unraveling. Max Blumenthal finds something decidedly wrong with another part of the official story:
This audio, which purports to show flotilla passengers telling the IDF to “go back to Auschwitz,” appears to have been doctored by the rosh katan at the IDF General Press Office.
The clip originally released by the IDF on May 31 of its exchange with the Mavi Marmara, which is featured below, shows the IDF warning the ship’s crew, “Mavi Marmara, you are appproaching an area of hostility which is under a naval blockade. The Gaza area coastal region and Gaza harbor are closed to all maritime traffic…” The Mavi Marmara responded to the IDF’s warning: “Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza. Our destination is Gaza.” There was no reference to Auschwitz in the video the IDF released on May 31.
Apparently, they then spliced in some crude anti-Semitic statements -- stereotypical jihad-speakat best -- including one supposedly voiced by a person who was in fact on a different vessel. Max concludes: "the IDF’s propaganda is getting stupider and stupider, and the media is enthusiastically playing along."
Read the rest of his post here.