Palestinians ride boats in a preparation for the arrival of Lebanon-Gaza flotilla at Gaza Seaport June 21, 2010. Israel told the United Nations on Friday it reserved its right to use all necessary means to stop ships that it said planned to try to sail from Lebanon to bring aid to Gaza, blockaded by the Jewish state. While on Sunday Israel said it was easing a land blockade on the Gaza Strip to allow in all goods except for arms and materials used to make them. REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

JERUSALEM – The Israel Defense Forces did not open fire on activists aboard a Hamas-supporting flotilla until the soldiers’ lives were endangered by those on the now infamous ship, admitted a Turkish journalist who was on the flotilla.

Some participants in the Turkish flotilla, named the Mavi Marmara, had claimed in news media interviews Israeli troops indiscriminately opened fire upon boarding the ship from a helicopter. Nine activists were killed in the clashes that ensued.

The ship, purchased by the Hamas-linked Turkish charity IHH, was attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The Jewish state maintains the blockade to ensure against Hamas arming itself at sea. The terrorist group had been caught several times attempting to smuggle weapons, including rockets and advanced missiles, into Gaza by sea.

“I saw with my own eyes that when the soldiers came on helicopters and started landing on the ship, they did not fire,” stated Turkish journalist Sefik Dinc.

“It wasn’t until the soldiers were met with resistance and realized that some of their friends’ lives were in danger that they began using live ammunition,” he said.

Dinc, who wrote a book about his experiences on the flotilla, was speaking in an interview with Israel’s Channel One. The interview was translated into English by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Consistent with video footage and testimonies of Israeli soldiers who had boarded the ship, Dinc recalled flotilla activists using iron bars against the IDF troops.

WND previously reported that prior to its violent confrontation with Israeli commandos, the commander of the flotilla announced 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.

Also WND reported on video footage showing flotilla activists shouting anti-Jewish battle cries and speaking of using “resistance” against Israel. One participant stated she saw only two possible outcomes for the boat occupants – “either martyrdom or reaching Gaza.”

Obama pals backed violent Gaza flotilla

The group behind the Gaza flotilla counts friends and associates of President Obama among its top supporters – the founders of the Weather Underground terrorist organization, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and Jodie Evans, the leader of the radical activist organization Code Pink.

Working with the IHH, the flotilla was organized by the Free Gaza Movement, a coalition of leftist human rights activists and pro-Palestinian groups engaged in attempts to break a blockade imposed by Israel on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Ayers, Dohrn and Evans’ Code Pink have led several recent Free Gaza Movement initiatives, including attempted marches into the Gaza Strip. Dohrn was in the Middle East just last month on behalf of the movement.

Ayers and Dohrn were close associates for years with President Obama, while Evans was a fundraiser and financial bundler for Obama’s presidential campaign.

In January, WND reported Ayers, Dohrn and Evans were involved in provoking chaos on the streets of Egypt in an attempt to enter Gaza with the Free Gaza Movement to join in solidarity with the territory’s population and leadership.

The three helped to stir riots after the Egyptian government refused to allow a large number of protesters to enter neighboring Gaza. Eventually, the protesters accepted an Egyptian offer of allowing about 100 marchers into Gaza. Once in the territory, the marchers were reportedly met on the Gaza side by Hamas’ former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

At the time of the march, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., wrote a letter in support of a “humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts” to Gaza. Members of Ayers’, Dohrn’s and Evans’ group documented on their blogs how Kerry’s letter was used at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo in an attempt to pressure Egypt to let their group into Gaza.

Images of the letter were also posted on the Electronic Intifada website run by Ali Abunimah, who was with Evans’ group in Egypt and who, WND previously reported, spoke at pro-Palestinian events in the 1990s alongside Obama. In one such event, a 1999 fundraiser for Palestinian “refugees,” Abunimah recalled introducing Obama on stage.

Kerry’s office previously met with Code Pink members, WND has learned. Sarah Roche-Mahdi of Code Pink also is a member of the United for Peace and Justice Palestine Task Force, which met with Kerry’s staffers.

Kerry last year became the most senior U.S. politician to visit the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, although at the time he did not meet with Hamas leaders.

Dohrn later wrote on a blog that she was briefly detained at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo following the January protests there by her group: “Bill and I went to the American Embassy at 10 a.m. and asked to see the ambassador. We were ushered into a holding pen a block away from the embassy building where we joined 35 people already there, surrounded by Egyptian soldiers,” she wrote.


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