This is a follow-up on last night’s post and video which appears to show (at least according to those who edited and captioned the video) the murder of a ship passenger by an IDF commando. Thanks to new video footage Paul Woodward has discovered, I’m going to backtrack somewhat on the claims I made last night. Above you’ll see an expanded version of the same video. In addition, I’ll relay new information I solicited from Prof. Scott MacEachern, a Bowdoin anthropologist who has some weapons expertise and with whom I’ve consulted periodically on such issues, who attempted to piece together what weapon was used and what the commando was actually doing with it.
Before I start and in order to quiet the cheers of the hasbara crowd, nothing I’m about to say conclusively refutes the possibility that the conclusions I drew yesterday are wrong. But there other possibilities that should be considered as well.
First, Paul notes that the longer video featured here, which appears to be one generation closer to the raw footage than the video featured yesterday, shows the action differently than the earlier video. In other words, the video claiming to show the murder of Furkan Dogan, shows commandos kicking a victim and then apparently shooting him. The video above shows these actions in reverse order. The IDF Seals first point a weapon down at the victim and possibly fire it, and later kick him.
What does all this mean? It means that the video footage may’ve been edited or manipulated to make it appear to show something it doesn’t. But again, since all of this represents the battle of dueling videos between Israel and supporters of the flotilla activists, its very hard to say anything definitively other than that both videos show commandos beating, menacing and possibly shooting victims. Even if the order of events was manipulated, that does not mean that in the original (possibly raw) video we watch above that a victim was not shot, possibly with a .22 caliber bullet (see below).
Israel’s supporters attempt to minimize the damage represented by the video’s contents by claiming the weapon held by the commando is a paintball gun and not one meant to kill. Many people who want you to believe they know what they’re talking about have vociferously stated this. But Prof. MacEachern offers some food for thought:
The weapon used…has the following characteristics:
(a) the stock is quite thin, indicating something with low recoil;
(b) there’s no large magazine visible (including a top-mounted paintball magazine, which is pretty easy to identify);
(c) the operator seems to be working a slide on the bottom of the weapon, and ejects at least one cartridge (indicating it’s not CO2 powered like a paintball gun);
(d) he works it four times at least, maybe five, while the weapon is pointing at the area they were kicking at before;
(e) the barrel is long and thin (could be the barrel itself or a sound suppressor); and
(f) he has a flashlight mounted on the left side of the receiver.
There appears to be no muzzle-flash, indicating (a) that’s it’s not a conventional pistol/rifle cartridge or (b) less likely, that a suppressor has eliminated all of the flash from a pistol cartridge.
So, there are two possibilities:
(1) these commandos are abusing some lying on the ground by firing some sort of crowd-control weapon, a kind of paintball gun on steroids (e.g. An FN303, although I don’t think that’s what this is), at him at a range of a foot or so, or
(2) this is an assassination weapon, an updated De Lisle carbine or some equivalent silenced, single-shot pistol-calibre weapon, and they have killed him.
My money is somewhat on the former, but no firm conclusions at this point.
In a later message to me, Scott added the following in an attempt to identify the weapon brandished:
I think he’s shooting whoever is on the ground with a silenced Ruger 10/22 .22-calibre bolt-action rifle with a modified stock. The Israelis bought some and used them for ‘crowd control’ for a while, until they were prohibited legally from using it – except they still did. They also use it to kill guard dogs – a so-called ‘hush-puppy’ weapon – in the Special Forces, so Sayeret 13 might be using it. This would kill you.
He offers evidence via B’Tselem of the gun’s use by the IDF in the Occupied Territories in riot control situations in which it is fired into demonstrators limbs, producing serious but usually not lethal injuries:
Ha’aretz reported the comments of an “IDF official”, who said that the Ruger causes less harm, and is less lethal, than “rubber bullets.”
Several children, however, were killed by it.
Some may note that the Turkish autopsies revealed that most of the dead were killed by 9mm bullets. This does not mean that others were not shot with .22 caliber ammunition, nor that a victim may not’ve died of such bullets. If Scott is right and this victim is being shot by a Ruger, the chances of causing death at point blank range rises greatly as he notes above.
Given the duelling videos offered by both sides, and the tendency of both sides to be willing to manipulate documentary evidence to their advantage, it’s hard to say precisely what went on aboard the ship that night. Which is all the more reason it is absolutely necessary for there to be a credible international probe of this tragedy. Such an inquiry must hear from every member of the Israel team that assaulted the Marmara as well as every passenger who may’ve engaged in resistance/violence and every passenger who may’ve witnessed such actions. This is the only way to ascertain with any reliability what happened and who is at fault, or most at fault.