** NEW INFO**
The report says that commando forces landed on at least one of the vessels, lowered from a chopper, throwing stun grenades while the passengers
on the boat shouted “we are unarmed”. Earlier, the vessels ignored navy instructions, backtracking with the intention of changing
6:23AM IL: According to reports quoting Hamas and Turkish NTV media sources, there are dead and wounded on the Gaza flotilla vessels as the Israel
Navy commandeered the vessels. There is no confirmation of the reports from any Israeli source. There are also no reports that any live gunfire was
used, adding confusion to the Arab media reports of ‘dead and wounded’, possibly part of the ongoing attempt to portray Israel as the
The report says that commando forces landed on at least one of the vessels, lowered from a chopper, throwing stun grenades while the passengers on the
boat shouted “we are unarmed”. Earlier, the vessels ignored navy instructions, backtracking with the intention of changing course.
On Sunday night, six navy vessels left the Haifa Port area heading to the three Gaza flotilla vessels. A warning message was sent by the navy to the
Turkish vessel, leading the others. An estimated 600 people are on board the vessels, which were admittedly taken by surprise, not expecting a
standoff with the navy so far out at sea. The navy declared the area a ‘closed military zone’, instructing the vessels to turn around and leave
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In a media statement released on Sunday night, the IDF explained the commando force left Haifa heading for the vessels to turn them around and avoid
“a provocative incident in Gazan waters”.
Agencies confirm that the navy made contact with officials on the lead ship on Sunday night, with naval officials seeking to ascertain who is onboard
that vessel and their intentions. They report they were instructed to wear lifejackets.
Participants in the self-proclaimed humanitarian operation add that Israel was intermittently blocking satellite telephone broadcasts from the
vessels. The al-Jazeera Arab satellite network reports that one of the vessels separated, taking a different route than the others to avoid the navy
YWN-ISRAEL will continue providing coverage on the flotilla standoff.
6:54AM IL: Hamas affiliated TV reports three dead on one of the flotilla vessels. Turkish NTV reports the Israel Navy is in control of the flotilla
vessels, which were stopped at sea to prevent their arrival in Gazan waters.
7:00AM IL: According to Turkish media reports, hundreds of anti-Israel protestors took to the streets during the night at the Israeli Embassy in
Ankara as well as outside of the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul in support of the passengers on board the Gaza flotilla vessels.
7:05AM IL: Israeli sources are now reporting the Israel Navy is in control of all three of the flotilla vessels and the boats are en route to the Port
of Ashdod. There is no Israeli mention of dead or wounded at this time.
7:13AM IL: According to a report from a credible Israeli source, naval commandos who boarded the vessels came under attack, leading to the injured and
possibly fatalities, which were reported earlier by the Turkish media.
7:18AM IL: Various reports – seven people admitted to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, one listed in serious condition. Al-Jazeera reports
as many as 50 injured. Other media reports indicated as many as 7 dead. Once again, there is no Israeli confirmation of any fatalities at this
7:24AM IL: According to Haaretz quoting AP, protestors in Turkey are trying to storm the Israeli consulate. Arab MKs are calling on the international
community to condemn “Israeli aggression” against humanitarian relief workers. They are demanding the Israeli Arab community take to the streets
7:32AM IL: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Israel’s ambassador to file a protest over Israel’s decision to launch a military operation
against the vessels.
7:37AM IL: It appears the naval commando mission began at about 4am, with elite forces boarding the vessels from rafts and lowered from a chopper
hovering overhead. Shots were heard as commandos sprayed teargas. The vessels are under Israel Navy control according to all reports at this time, en
route to the Port of Ashdod. A number of people have been transported to the emergency room of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center. There are reports from
numerous sources of two fatalities.
7:40AM IL: A gag order has been imposed on details of the naval operation, including the number of dead and wounded. Israel Radio reports there are
wounded among the Israel Shayetet commando force. MDA and Israel Police move to high alert nationwide amid ongoing calls for protests by Arab MKs.
7:45AM IL: Israel Prison Authority forces heading to the Port of Ashdod to take prisoners into custody. Beersheva Prison has been prepared for this
eventuality. Israel Police are being deployed to “problematic areas” as unrests are expected with increasing reports of as many as 12 dead in the
joint Israel Navy and air force operation on the Gaza flotilla vessels.
7:47AM IL: Ships are being directed to the Port of Haifa, not Ashdod as planned earlier in an apparent move to avoid the waiting international media
at Ashdod. Reports speak of 10-14 dead. This number has not been confirmed by any Israeli sources at this time.
7:55AM IL: Experts in Israel report one must realize this was a Turkish effort intended at compromising Israel’s standing in the international
community, explaining commando forces landing on the “humanitarian vessels” were attacked with pipes and other blunt objects. “If their
intentions were truly humanitarian, a solution could easily have been reached by accepting Israel’s offer to deliver the humanitarian cargo to Gaza,
but this was not at all the real mission”, one analyst told Israel Radio.
7:56AM IL: Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon moves to alert status. Protests gaining momentum in Turkey and Lebanon, calling for “Death to Israel”.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has established a situation room to monitor the events.
8:05AM IL: Turkey’s NTV reporting 2 dead and over 50 injuries as commandos stormed the flotilla vessels. There were earlier reports that the ships
were being redirected to the Port of Haifa, but it appears they will be arriving at the Port of Ashdod as planned, under a media blackout, where
waiting Yassam anti-riot Israel Police troops will take charge of the prisoners on board the three vessels.
There are mounting calls for protests heard in Israeli Arab communities, and there are unconfirmed reports that among the dead on the vessels is
Sheikh Rayed Salach, the head of the northern branch of the Israel Islamic Association. Arab MKs are releasing condemnatory messages against Israel,
calling on the international community to condemns Israel’s “barbaric” assault against unarmed humanitarian volunteers onboard the vessels.
Israel Police and Magen David Adom remain on heightened alert status and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon remain on
alert to receive wounded from the joint naval air force operation.
8:07AM IL: Three of the injured arrived at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv, with one listed as serious and the others moderate-to-light.
8:09AM IL: According to NTV and al-Jazeera reports, there are 14 or 15 dead among the left-wing activists. Commando forces came under a barrage of
attacks on one vessel, with the humanitarians using pipes, knives and blunt objects. Once again, these reports are based on foreign unconfirmed
reports as the information in Israel is limited, based on various agencies and under a media blackout. Commandos apparently used teargas and when the
assaults did not subside, they were compelled to use live ammunition.
There are confirmed reports of two injured naval commandos, who are not in any life-threatening situation Baruch Hashem. The injured have been
transported to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv.
Israeli Arabs are doing their utmost to incite, calling on the international community to condemn Israel’s brutality and “barbaric actions”, as
anti-Israel protests are reported outside the Israeli Embassy and Consulate in Turkey and in Lebanon.
There are conflicting reports as to what port the detainees will be taken to, Haifa or Ashdod.
Once again, real-time reports from numerous local and foreign sources demand changing facts as the picture begins to unfold and the fog and media
blackout surrounding the complex mission begin becoming wane.
8:17AM IL: Speaking from Qatar, Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) told Israel Radio “no one cares to report or remember that we left Gaza,
withdraw our forces and ended any presence, yet the world will portray Israel as it wishes. We are not training our forces for such actions, against
civilians, but at the end of the day, we must protect our home, our residents and our children, and while the deaths are most unfortunate, we must
8:21AM IL: Defense Minister Ehud Barak is conferring with senior advisors at this time. CNN reporting from Turkey shows hundreds of protestors trying
to break into the Israeli Consulate.
8:33AM IL: MK (Kadima) Nachman Shai, the famed IDF spokesman during the First Gulf War, told Israel Radio that “time is of the essence and with each
hour that passes without a definitive high-level Israeli statement, we begin to lose the public relations battle…at present, we are still in control
and we must maintain this…this is not a job for the IDF spokesman, but for the government, the Foreign Minister, a high-level official source”.
Shai calls on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to return home and address this critical issue as Turkey and other seek to manipulate the
international media against Israel.
8:56AM IL: Maariv reports Turkish police have entered the residence of the Israeli Ambassador to protect him against a growing angry local mob as
anti-Israel protests continue.
8:59AM IL: Greta Berlin, spokesperson for the flotilla spoke with Israel Radio minutes ago. She stressed all passengers on board the six ships are
civilians, journalists, activists and politicians.
“There were 30 cameras on board the Turkish ship. The minute their feet hit the deck, they started shooting. You see it on the video” states Greta
Berlin, spokesperson for the Gaza flotilla.
The Israel Radio correspondent spoke in English and then translated to Hebrew for the listening audience.
GRETA: There are 600 people from around the world. There are activists, members of parliament, there are journalists. They are all civilians. Everyone
of us is trying to break Israel’s blockage of 1.5 million Palestinians.
ISRAEL RADIO: Let me ask you a question. Why didn’t you accept Israel’s offer to bring the goods through the Port of Ashkelon to Gaza. You could
have accepted the idea and by that you could have broken the Israeli blockade as well.
GRETA: Because you don’t tell the truth. You would never have delivered any of those supplies to Gaza because all of the supplies that we are
bringing in are on the list of 2000 items that the people of Gaza cannot have to rebuild they society. So you never would have, you never would have
permitted the supplies in. I do not believe the Israelis because every time one of your officials talks about bringing the supplies to Ashdod, they
say food, clothing, and medicine. We don’t have any of that on board. We have cement, paper, water filtration systems, the things that will help the
people of Gaza rebuild, and you do not allow those things in.
ISRAEL RADIO: So basically what you are saying is that there is no way that Israel would have allowed bringing these supplies to Gaza via Ashdod. It
would have stayed in Ashdod.
Did you expect violence on the ship? Is that something you thought was going to happen?
GRETA: We never thought Israel would be stupid enough to kill 10 people and wound at least 30. There is something that has happened to your country
that seems to feel it is okay to kill unarmed citizens, perhaps because you are used to killing unarmed Palestinians.
ISRAEL RADIO: Speaking in Hebrew now for audience, explains the other side is the IDF force was assaulted, with blunt objects, batons and knives. The
picture remains unclear but there are reports that 10 people were killed