UN Report: American Citizen Executed By Israelis During Mavi Marmara Raid
Continued from previous page
That decision apparently followed the passengers' successful repulsion of an Israeli effort to board the ship from Zodiac boats.
The report confirms that, from the beginning of the operation, passengers were fired on by helicopters flying above the Mavi Marmara to drop commandos on the deck.
Contrary to Israeli claims that one or more Israeli troops were wounded by firearms, the report says no medical evidence of a gunshot wound to an Israeli soldier was found.
The OHCHR report confirms accounts from passengers on the Mavi Marmara that defenders subdued roughly ten Israeli commandos, took their weapons from them and threw them in the sea, except for one weapon hidden as evidence. The Israeli soldiers were briefly sequestered below and some were treated for wounds before being released by the defenders.
The OHCHR fact-finding mission will certainly be the most objective, thorough and in-depth inquiry into the events on board the Mavi Marmara and other ships in the flotilla of the four that have been announced.
The fact-finding mission was chaired by Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, Q.C., retired judge of the International Criminal Court and former attorney general of Trinidad and Tobago, and included Sir Desmond de Silva, Q.C. of the United Kingdom, former chief prosecutor of the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone and Ms. Mary Shanthi Dairiam of Malaysia, founding member of the board of directors of the International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific.
The mission interviewed 112 eyewitnesses to the Israeli attack in London, Geneva, Istanbul and Amman, Jordan. The Israeli government refused to cooperate with the fact-finding mission by making personnel involved in both planning and carrying out the attack available to be interviewed.
The Turkish government announced its own investigation of the Israeli attack on August 10. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the formation of a "Panel of Inquiry" on August 2, but its mandate was much more narrowly defined. It was given the mission to "receive and review the reports of the national investigations with the view to recommending ways of avoiding similar incidents in the future."
Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in US national security policy. His latest book is "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam."