Eyewitness accounts of the Israeli atrocity

The BBC (not particularly well-known for criticising the Israelis, or indeed providing unbiased reporting about repression of the Palestinians) has published the following eyewitness accounts of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla that occurred during the early hours of 31st May.

Activists describe Israeli raid on Gaza aid convoy

UK Gaza activist Sarah Colborne - ship raid 'surreal'

Inevitably the Israeli spin machine has kicked into high gear, their principal line seeming to be:

Israel maintains its commandos were attacked first. Officials say soldiers were confronted with "knives, clubs and other weapons" when they landed on the Mavi Marmara and they opened fire in self-defence.

Even were that true (which, given the Israelis' predilection for distortions and downright lies, I very much doubt) it rather begs the question of what the hell were they doing launching an armed assault on, and boarding, civilian ships in what I am led to believe were international waters?

Under such circumstances my view is that the passengers and crew of those ships were fully justified in seeking to defend themselves and seeking to repel the boarders... using whatever means they had at their disposal.

And quite clearly those means did not include firearms. So, even if there were some microscopic grain of truth in the Israeli allegations how then do they justify such a disproportionate response?

At time of writing the aid ship MV Rachel Corrie that was part of the original flotilla is still on its way to Gaza, due to arrive at about 0800 Saturday morning (5th June).

Pointless speculating on what the Israelis may or may not do. Optimists may believe that, following the publicity and worldwide protests in response to the Israeli attack on the main body of the flotilla, they will be more restrained in the morning.

Personally, I doubt it. The Israelis are not well-known for improving their behaviour in response to world-wide condemnation of their actions.

Edit 04.06.2010 @ 20:41 -- This too, from The Guardian...
Gaza flotilla activists were shot in head at close range

Edit 05.06.2010 @ 01:09 -- And this, from gulfnews.com...
From tear gas to bullets: Gunshots shattered call to prayer

(Also published at yet another blog)