It has taken a while but what really happened on board the Mavi Marmara is now coming to light and it is being verified by unlikely sources.

The Jerusalem Post has an interview with a Staff Sergeant who killed 6 of the 9 ‘activists’ on board the ship  and his account reveals that this was a very well rehearsed ambush by men trained in advance. The Staff Sergeant saved his own life and that of his colleagues from a baying mob of murderous terrorists who had no interest in humanitarian aid, no interest in the plight of Gazans but only a desire to kill or be killed.

You can read the full article here.

Here are the highlights:

As St-Sgt S rapelled onto the deck of the Mavi Marmara:

Looking to his side, he saw three of his commanders lying wounded – one with a gunshot wound to the stomach and another with a gunshot wound to the knee. A third was lying unconscious; his skull was fractured by a devastating blow with a metal bar.


He pushed the wounded soldiers up against the wall of the upper deck and created a perimeter of soldiers around them to begin treating their wounds, he said. He then arranged his men to form a second perimeter, and pulled out his 9 mm. Glock pistol to stave off the charging attackers and to protect his wounded comrades.

The attackers had already seized two pistols from the commandos, and fired repeatedly at them. Facing more than a dozen of the mercenaries, and convinced their lives were in danger, he and his colleagues opened fire, he said. S. singlehandedly killed six men. His colleagues killed another three.

Any enquiry must try to understand if it was necessary to kill 9 people to quell the mob. Remember this was at night on a heaving deck; the commandos had no idea how many had what weapons and subsequent revelations show that were more than justified in their actions.

… the IDF said on Thursday that the commandos were attacked by a well-trained group of mercenaries, most of whom were found without IDs but with thousands of dollars in their pockets.

The group was well trained and was split into a number of squads of about 20 mercenaries each distributed throughout the upper deck… All of the mercenaries wore gas masks and ceramic bulletproof vests and were armed with either bats, slingshots, metal bars, knives or stun grenades.

The IDF’s understanding is that the mercenaries mainly chose dual-purpose items of this sort rather than guns, since opening fire would have made it blatantly clear that they were terrorists and not so-called peace activists.


…the IDF suspects that the group did have some guns of its own. Israeli forensic experts who examined the ship found casings belonging to a weapon that was not used by the commandos, and the Turkish captain of the ship later told the IDF that the “mercenaries” threw their weapons overboard after the commandos took control of the vessel. (my emphasis)


Investigators found gun-sights and cartridge-magazines not fitting IDF weapons in a search of the ship, Israel Radio quoted IDF sources saying Friday morning.

There were stories from the activists that the commandos rapelled onto the ship already shooting from above. Physically impossible. But the IDF did say this, which might explain the stories of people all to ready to blame the Israelis for the violence:

In contrast to earlier reports, the commandos said that they began using their weapons within a minute and a half after boarding the ship, due to the extreme violence they faced. One of the reasons S. pulled out his gun right after landing on the ship was because one of the mercenaries was pointing a pistol, snatched from one of the commandos, at another commando’s head.

And, somewhat surprisingly, none other than an Al-Jazeera cameraman has supported the IDF evidence:

Andre Abu Khalil, a Lebanese cameraman for Al Jazeera TV, who was aboard the Mavi Marmara told Reuters some 20 Turkish men tried by force to prevent the boarding commandos from reaching the wheelhouse and commandeering the ship.

Using slingshots, metal pipes and wooden rods they initially succeeded in wounding and overpowering four Israeli soldiers and dragging them below decks, he told Reuters.

After a 10-minute standoff the Israelis opened fire, according to the cameraman.

The international community including the UK government conflates the fact of the interception of the flotilla with the deaths occurring on it. The Israelis may have blundered with poor intelligence but it is equally clear that they did not have any intent at violence and that the organisers of the flotilla were intent on just that. Though the deaths are regrettable, had these people not used disproportionate force , murderous intent and a wish for martydom they would be alive today.

And as for the guy who jumped to conclusions in the image above? Yeah, right.