In footage captured on the Gaza flotilla just before its departure this week, one activist described how he had attempted in previous ship convoys to become a martyr and that “with the help of Allah” he would succeed on the flotilla.
“When I went on the first convoy, I wanted to be a Shahid (martyr),” stated the passenger in a pre-departure interview with Press TV.
See an excerpt of the interview:
He was referring to several previous attempts by smaller flotillas to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.
Continued the passenger: “I wasn’t that lucky. Second time, I wanted to be a Shahid. Didn’t work. Third time lucky, with the help of Allah, I will be a Shahid.”
A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces commented on the interview.
“While the Gaza flotilla passengers had presented themselves as peace activists who would not act violently towards Israeli forces, this provides further evidence to the contrary,” said the spokesman.
Activists chanted anti-Jewish battle cries
Activists on a six-ship flotilla that was headed to the Gaza Strip shouted anti-Jewish battle cries and spoke of using “resistance” against Israel, with one participant stating she saw only two possible outcomes for the boat occupants – “either martyrdom or reaching Gaza.”
The main flotilla ship was the MV Rachel Corrie, the namesake of a far-left activist from the International Solidarity Movement who died in 2003 while serving as a human shield to protect a terrorist.
An Al Jazeera news report one day before the raid translated by Palestinian Media Watch documented men on the flotilla chanting, “[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!”
The chant is often used at rallies for Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Islam’s prophet Muhammad in AD 628. The battle marked the end of the Jewish presence in Arabia.
Al-Jazeera also interviewed a woman on the flotilla who said the participants’ goal was “one of two happy endings: either martyrdom or reaching Gaza.”
WND reported the commander of the six-ship pro-Palestinian flotilla announced beforehand participants were planning to use “resistance” and declared the ship’s activists wanted to die as “martyrs” more than they wanted to reach the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas television.
Israel maintains a naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza, fearing if it allows ships to reach the territory, Hamas can obtain weaponry to be used against Israelis.
Israel and the international community numerous times have stopped ships loaded with weapons destined for Gaza.
Despite claims by activists, Israel does not block humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israel allows a large number of trucks daily to enter Gaza with food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies. Israel transfers monthly into Gaza tens of millions of dollars worth of Israeli shekels to ensure the flow of cash in the territory.
Israel imposed a blockade on certain supplies it fears could be used by Hamas to build a military infrastructure.