If you read yesterday’s blog, you learned and watched videos Pro-Palestinian protestors attempting to break the Israel Defense Force (IDF) blockade against ships sailing for Gaza. It did not take long but I just learned via an email that a new protest is scheduled to take place at UC Irvine today in about 90 minutes. Called “Gaza Freedom Flotilla: a UCI PROTEST Emergency Response, the gathering is scheduled to take place at the UCI flagpoles at noon.
On another, but related note…..
From a media standpoint, I also just learned that Israel Consul General Jacob Dayan will be featured on AirTalk with Larry Mantle – KPCC 89.3 FM LIVE today at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The Consul General will provide accurate information about the Gaza flotilla situation and take listeners’ questions. You can listen to it live here
Lastly, IDF forces are seen unloading the humanitarian cargo from the Gaza Flotilla and bringing the aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The video is dated June 1, 2010… You can watch it here for yourself
By now, you may have heard that the Israeli military stopped a Palestinian bound ship and 10 people have been reportedly killed.
Here are the facts and a few videos worth watching……
• Earlier today, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intercepted six ships attempting to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip
• The intercept took place after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israel Navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod, where they would be able to unload their cargo which would then be transferred to Gaza over land after undergoing security inspections. The IDF stressed that the passengers could then return to their point of departure on the same vessels.
• During the interception of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live gunfire as well as light weaponry including knives, crowbars and clubs. The demonstrators had clearly prepared weapons in advance for this specific purpose.
• According to reports from sea, on board the flotilla that was seeking to break the maritime closure on the Gaza Strip, IDF forces apprehended two violent activists holding pistols. These militants apparently grabbed the pistols from IDF forces and opened fire on the soldiers.
• The activists were carrying 10,000 tons of reported aid to Gaza. Israel provides 15,000 tons of aid weekly to Gaza.
A Few Additional facts:
• A number of Israeli naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and others from knives and crowbars. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries.
• All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners, are currently being evacuated by a fleet of IDF helicopters to hospitals in Israel.
• Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that some of the participants onboard the ships had planned a lynch-mob attack, using lethal force on the boarding forces.