Turkey Flotilla Inquiry: Activists Killed ‘Execution Style’
Turkey’s investigation of the Mavi Marmara massacre contains troubling findings that two victims were killed before any IDF soldiers boarded the ship, in fire from helicopters, that the youngest victim, a Turkish-American, was killed execution style after being wounded in the leg, and that a photographer was killed with a laser-guided weapon while taking photographs:
The report said Israeli soldiers fired live bullets from helicopters, killing two of the activists, even before they had rappelled on board. Five of the victims were killed from close range, it added.
Furkan Dogan, the 19-year-old Turkish-American, was lying wounded after being shot in the leg when he was kicked by two soldiers, who then shot him from close range “execution-style,” according to the summary.
Another activist, Cevdet Kiliclar, was killed with laser-guided weapons while taking photographs, the report said.
…The report said none of the people on board had firearms and that Israeli soldiers continued to fire even after activists waved white flags.
The Dogan murder in particular echoes the known IDF “kill shot” technique (also known in Hebrew as “confirming the kill”) by which anyone wounded in specific types of operations is killed execution style by a shot to the head. The murder of Ziad Jilani followed this method. A 13 year-old Gaza schoolgirl carrying a school bag was shot 17 times while 100 yards from an IDF watch tower. Captain R too fired three point blank kill shots into the unarmed girl to confirm the kill, placed his weapon on automatic and emptied the magazine into her. He did so despite the fact that troops under his command repeatedly identified her as a child and never identified her as posing any threat. Here is a transcript of conversations among the officer and his observation tower:
From the watchtower “It’s a little girl. She’s running defensively eastward.” “Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?” “A girl about 10, she’s behind the embankment, scared to death.” “I think that one of the positions took her out.” “I and another soldier … are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill … Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her … I also confirmed the kill. Over.”
“This is commander. Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over
The IDF cleared him of all but minor charges in the incident. The following year he was promoted to major and received compensation for his legal fees.
In Bethlehem in 2008, an IDF hit squad first wounded and then executed four wanted Palestinians. Here is how an eye-witness described the murders, which may give you an impression of what it was like that night on the Mavi Marmara:
I stood in front of the shop…and saw a red Daihatsu parked behind my car. I saw a man walking three meters from the car. Then I heard someone call out, “’Imad!”…I saw the man called ‘Imad turn toward the voice and then I heard the sound of a gunshot. The bullet hit ‘Imad in the leg and he fell to the ground.
Immediately after that, I saw six soldiers, in uniform, with helmets and masks, approach the Daihatsu and open massive gunfire at it. I saw the blue ricochet of the bullets. They fired into the car for a long time. The man who had called out to ‘Imad stood next to the minibus and didn’t fire. He was wearing civilian clothes – a blue shirt and jeans – and looked as though he was in his forties. He had a potbelly and was tall, dark-skinned and bald…
I heard ‘Imad cry out. He was lying in the middle of the street. Then I saw the soldiers who had fired at the Daihatsu turn toward him and shoot him in the head. His brain scattered all over the ground, which was a horrible sight.
Then I saw the man in civilian clothes holding a weapon. He went over to the Daihatsu and shot the heads of the three men who were inside. They didn’t move. He shot them from behind, in the head. I didn’t know who they were or why they had been executed.
After that, the man in civilian clothes fired one shot into the head of ‘Imad, whose brain was already scattered on the ground. Then he went back to the minibus, got in with the soldiers, and they drove off.
I went over to the Daihatsu and looked inside. I was shocked when I saw my uncle, ‘Issa Marzuq Zawahreh, who was 36 years old, sitting in the back seat of the car. His head was shattered and resting on the shoulder of his friend, Muhammad Shehadeh, who was next to him…Their heads, which had bullet holes in the back, were leaning forward. It was a terrifying sight, as was the sight of Ahmad al-Balbul, who was sitting next to the driver’s seat. Part of his body was scattered on the seat. The three were killed while sitting in the car. The firing was massive and lasted about two minutes.
In a separate report on France24, a Turkish diplomat specifically refutes an Israeli claim that those on board the Mavi Marmara fired weapons at the IDF boarding party:
Rende also dismissed the claim Friday, saying that “the passengers in no way used any firearms against the Israeli forces.”
He said passengers had seized three weapons from Israeli soldiers in the melee on board, but threw them into the sea.
The UN has been waiting for both countries’ reports before issuing its own. It doesn’t seem possible for the UN to issue a finding that won’t be deeply controversial unless the actual one makes virtually no substantive judgments. It will be interesting to see whether the UN inquiry has the courage of its convictions or takes the easy way out.
20 thoughts on “Turkey Flotilla Inquiry: Activists Killed ‘Execution Style’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I was trying to read the report without being prejudice, this report actually reinstate the reports of the soldiers, that few of them shot the same terrorists which will explain the “killing conformation”
380 live bullets were fired by the Israeli Soldiers, 70 were pointed to center mass. The low number of dead terrorists was due to the professionalism and self-restraint the soldiers executed while facing life threatening danger (and if you are going to claim they didn’t face any life threatening danger, next time I will be in the USA I am willing to fly to Seattle an demonstrate on a manikin what type of damage a bat swing into someone head may cause not to mention knifes to the abdomen etc.)
(http://www.mako.co.il/tv-ilana_dayan/2011-4ee1e68e56a0e210/Article-4f226d9d0011e21006.htm&sCh=07437f8dd8836110&pId=2082585621 Hebrew only sorry)
I know you quoted the report, but do me a favor, do not include science fiction quotes such as the following “and that a photographer was killed with a laser-guided weapon while taking photographs”
Do you have any idea what a laser-guided weapon is? Did you bother using Google? Wikipedia? Your own knowledge? Do you understand the consequences to the ship infrastructure if such a weapon was used by the IDF? I guess not. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precision-guided_munition)
“Next time I will be in the USA I am willing to fly to Seattle and demonstrate . . ”
If we didn’t know it before, now it’s clear that IlanP is a Hasbarista. Wonder whether the IDF will pay the extra flight to Seattle.
Other eyewitnesses have testified that people were killed before the IDF boarded the Mavi Marmara. I’m not 100% sure, but I think one of the German members of Die Linke and Adam Shapiro’s American-Palestinian wife (I’ve forgotten her name) and Haneen Zuabi too, confirmed this scenario.
Deir Yassin, If you weren’t so narrow minded, you would have realized that there are other occupations other then being “hasbartist” that require frequent travels over seas. The Hi-tech industry is one of them,Airline industry is another needless to mention that the IDF doesn’t cover the cost of Israeli citizens airline tickets.
Mk Zoabi, confirmed in many interviews, that she was no where near the upper deck, and she didn’t see anything of the such.
if you speak Hebrew, i will make an effort to find that interview which is available on you tube and bring to your attention. though i am wondering what the point, though she is the one being interviewed, and her face is shown you will claim that it was edited by the IDF(someone here actually claimed the video released by the IDF were taken elsewhere)
Me being narrow-minded or not has nothing to do with my point.
“Next time I will be in the USA I AM WILLING to fly to Seattle”
Do you at least understand your own English. ‘I am willing to’ is not part of your planned schedule but something you’re doing as a gesture. That’s a lot of effort for a private person . . .
I ALSO wrote “other eyewitnesses have testified . . . ” and that ‘I’m not 100% sure’ (or rather forgot) about their identity. And of course Haneen Zuabi is not a credible eyewitness, being a “anti-semitic, Israeli-hating Palestinian”. The point is that various people, and not only Turkish and Arab “Islamo-fascists”, testified that shots were fired from the helicopter before soldiers boarded the Mavi Marmara, and people who watched the live-steaming have testified the same.
I’ll tell you why you’re a Hasbarista: instead of addressing the larger issue you always find some minor topic (when you don’t totally manipulate) – here Richard’s use of ‘laser-guided weapon’, on another file a minor statement by Steve Nira, etc etc. to discredit the general issue. And you always claim your own biased views as ‘facts’.
We’re a lot of people who are very astonished that the IDF doesn’t release all the confiscated taping that could prove their ‘innocence’. The only taping available is the Iara Lee one-hour recording that she managed to smuggle out. Why so ?
And do you think this kind of IDF footage helps giving Israel any credibility ? Israel apparently think the rest of the world is idiot. Have a good laugh, even a five-year old can deconstruct the amateurism:
In this interview MK Zoabi states that she was near the captain bridge, which according to her statement is located, one floor below the upper deck, and all she was able to see was the wounded passengers and 3 bodies that were carried next to her. She claims she never saw anyone carrying bat’s or knifes or anything of the sort.
She also claims that she saw two critically wounded passengers, and when she asked for the IDF help they deny her request. (Time marker 2:17 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHrLUoUTLUs)
But in this video published by the IDF, you can see that people on her deck were preparing for battle, you see them with bat’s in their hands, and you see MK zoabi walking (time Marker 0:27 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXfj0V3J8QQ) and from time Marker 1:18 you can see MK. Zoabi arguing with the soldiers who want to airlift the critically wounded passengers to the nearest hospital in Israel, and the MK argues that they don’t want to receive the treatment. She argues, until the Military Doctor says that he is the one giving the orders and he simply doesn’t care what she has to say. MK Zoabi is simply lying.
As i said narrow minded, i accumulated enough miles to get a free ticket from NY to Seattle and back. so it’s not such a big effort. As for the rest of your nonsense, i stated that i think both reports kind of complement each other, and yes I did point out what seems to be a mistake, does it discredit the rest of the document? Well maybe in your opinions.
I do not understand why you don’t think that the same group that chanted “Khaybar Khaybar ya Yahud, jaish-Muhammad sayaud” is incapable of stating “go back to Auschwitz “ or maybe you think this video too was fabricated by the IDF who managed to arrange a peaceful scene amid the chaos and probably forced the participants by pointing guns to their heads to sing that ?
would you like – as someone with a deep knowledge of the history of Islam – to elaborate on that chanting ?
In case you weren’t privy to this conversation here I have specifically said that Haneen Zoabi will no longer be a target for anyone in this blog. Contrary to what some may think, “Tikun Olam” isn’t Hebrew for “Smear Haneen Zoabi.” If that’s your goal, as it was for several commenters a few months ago when Mavi Marmara was a bigger topic for discussion here, go elsewhere.
Here’s the way I look at this:
1. Israel has no right to place Gaza under siege as it is a violation of several major provision of international law.
2. Israel’s violent interception of the ship also has no validity under international law as the scene of the attack wasn’t in Israeli waters, & the ship presented no imminent threat to Israel itself.
3. And even if we concede all of the above points, there was absolutely no justification for landing heavily armed naval commandos on that ship.
So I don’t really give a flying f(^k if Haneen Zoabi saw Martians with space lasers on that boat. Israel had no right & no justification for being there. I must say that I agree completely with Free Man on this (& this may be a first) that if you send heavily outnumbered commandos to board a ship what do you expect to happen? This is what commandos are taught to do–they attack & subdue an enemy and the least sign of resistance is met w massive force.
So get off Haneen Zoabi. She’s a sideshow. And if it’s that important to browbeat this woman do it elsewhere.
1. as you stated i was never privy to the previous conversation about MK Zoabi.
2. If you don’t want her claims refuted, i think you should prohibit any reference to her claims in the first place. i provided the links, you speak good enough hebrew judge for yourself.
Do you have any idea what a laser-guided weapon is?
Its a poor translation into English. It was a rifle with a laser pointer on it that killed Cevdet Kiliclar, fired from the helicopter prior to the soldiers rappelling onto the ships deck. One could technically call it a laser-guided weapon, but usually the term is only used for larger weaponry that actually uses the laser to assure the target is hit, rather than just a laser that shows where the gun is pointing.
“The low number of dead terrorists….”
Suggestion: If you are really trying to read the report non-prejudicially, it would help you enormously if you didn’t presume that everyone on board the ship was a terrorist.
The Turkish report is referring to “laser-guided rifles”, e.g. the Aimshot laser boresight, not to laser-guided munitions. In other words, the photographer was lit-up and then shot. So, it wasn’t a stray bullet.
FYI, there is no evidence in any of the official reports from either side about “dead terrorists”. Anytime that trained special forces operators employing counter-terrorism techniques get disarmed and captured by civilians using makeshift weapons, it reflects pretty poorly on their so-called “professionalism”.
This is utter bulls(&t. They fired 380 bullets & killed 9 people & this showed professionalism & self-restraint??? There wasn’t a single aspect of this operation that showed self restraint. Self restraint isn’t even a concept known to the IDF. The fact that you would try to use such a term in this context renders everything you’ve said here totally pasul. Life threatening danger? None of the wounds suffered by soldiers were life threatening & those who were most severely injured were treated by the passengers, which gives the lie to your stupid statement that everyone shot was a terrorist & presuably yr inference that all aboard were as well.
If this is an attempt at wit you’d do better to tell Holocaust jokes at a Survivor’s Gathering. I’ve been threatened with death and numerous acts of violence. Though I know you well enough (I think) to know that you didn’t mean this comment in a threatening way, there’s enough of a whiff of violence in it to make me shiver. Do not attempt such jokes in the future. Do not talk of bringing a bat to my home even in jest. There are people who want to hurt me: do you understand that?
1. Self Restraint, absolutely, check the number of wounded. if the soldiers wanted, number of dead would have been much higher, the number of wounded is a testimony to the simple fact that the soldiers did whatever they could to avoid killing people on the boat.
2. What’s wrong with you ? I wasn’t making a joke nor it was a wit. i am willing to run a simple experiment in your presence on a manikin. where in that do you see a threat ? i understand you were threatened before but here is something you should know, those who will spread threat’s around especially on a public place, will most likely will not do a thing. as Clint Eastwood once said: if you want to shoot shoot don’t talk.
This is the same lame argument used by hasbarists to claim that Cast Lead too was a self-restrained professionally executed combat operation. Look, if they wanted they could’ve killed thousands instead of the “mere” 1,400 that they did. The soliders executed wounded civilians holding video cameras. They did “everything they could to avoid killing people???” You must be listening to David Byrne’s “Stop Making Sense.”
Here’s what wrong with me: you said you would bring a bat to Seattle to show me how much damage you can do on a mannekin. No thanks, I don’t need anyone bringing any implement of violence anywhere near my home no matter what the purpose.
I have a rule here, I take everything with the most remote reference to violence that is published at face value. I don’t know whether there’s a right-wing Jewish Jared Loughner or Jack Teitel out there. You don’t think they participated in blog comment threads & public forums before during & after (at least in Teitel’s case) they killed? So I’m extra sensitive to any expressions of violence even when they’re not meant to be taken literally. As I said, I know you well enough to believe you had no bad intent in making this comment. But I just think there’s enough violence in the world w/o demonstrating with a baseball bat on even a mannekin.
RE: “He went over to the Daihatsu and shot the heads of the three men who were inside…After that, the man in civilian clothes fired one shot into the head of ‘Imad, whose brain was already scattered on the ground.”
MY SNARK: “They come from another world. Spawned in the light years of space. Unleashed to take over the bodies and souls of the people…”
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Official Trailer  (VIDEO, 02:20) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFnSxeDfENk
Part of the report is:
Rende said the excessive force caused panic among the activists, “forcing them to use their right to self-defense, even without firearms.”
After we saw how the Israeli were attacked on that boat, that statement, discredit the whole “report”.
That said, I will say again my view:
If you send trained killers (and commando fighters are), don’t be surprised you end up with dead people.
The guys in charge, Barak & Netanyahu, should have gone home after that fiasco.
If a State dispatches armed commandos onto the territory of another state (and that is what a foreign-flagged vessel in international waters is), then the crew and passengers do have the legal right to defend themselves. Stop demonstrating your ignorance.
I agree completely w. yr last 2 sentences.
The UN report on the Mavi Marmara Massacre was published in september 2010.
The report describes the operation as disproportionate, with “unnecessary and incredible” violence, and an “unacceptable level of brutality”.
> The Mission does not find it plausible that soldiers were holding their weapons and firing as they descended on the rope. However, it has concluded that live ammunition was used from the helicopter onto the top deck PRIOR to the descent of the soldiers . . .
> The Mission finds the Israeli account so inconsistent and contradictory with regard to evidence of alleged firearm injuries to Israeli soldiers that it has to reject it . . .
> At least one of those killed [on the top deck, Furkan Dogan] was using a video camera and not involved in any of the fighting with the soldiers . . .
> NONE of the four passengers [on the bridge deck] who were killed including a photographer who at the time of being shot was engaged in taking photographs and was shot by an Israeli soldier positioned on the top deck, posed any threat to the Israeli forces . . .
> A number of passengers were injured or killed while trying to take refuge inside the door or assisting others to do so . . .
I think that was the Human Rights Commission report, which Israel claimed was prepared by a body (the same one that appointed Goldstone to investigate Gaza) that was hostile to it. There is another report expected by a committee appointed by the Secretary General that hasn’t been published. It was awaiting the national reports before issuing its findings.
Yes, you’re right, Richard. I didn’t specify that. The report is by the Human Rights Commission. It’s presided by retired Judge of the International Criminal Court, Hudson-Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago, Desmond de Silva of the UK and Mary Shanti Darian of Malaysia. That’s maybe where the hostility is, according to Israel. Weren’t there a bunch of Malaysians on the Mavi Marmara ?
If only Israel could get Dersho appointed to head the next commision 🙂
Israel has a long record of refusing to cooperate with officials on mission from the UN human rights treaty bodies and denying them entry to the territory under its control and jurisdiction. All Members of the UN have a treaty obligation to give the Organization “every assistance” in any action it takes in accordance with the Charter, including the human rights aims expressed in the preamble and the chapters regarding non self-governing territories. The members have also agreed that the Organization enjoys in the territory of each of its Members such legal capacity as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its purposes. The human rights treaty bodies are committees of independent experts that monitor implementation of the core international human rights treaties on behalf of the contracting State parties.
The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid was the first treaty that called for the establishment of a permanent international criminal tribunal. UN organs and treaty bodies have condemned the establishment of Jewish-only settlements, roads, and the separation wall in the Occupied Palestinian territories. Article 3 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination says “States Parties particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in territories under their jurisdiction.” The review of Israel’s 1998 report by the CERD panel of experts stated “The status of the settlements was clearly inconsistent with Article 3 of the Convention which, as noted in the Committee’s General Recommendation XIX, prohibited all forms of racial segregation in all countries. There was a consensus among publicists that the prohibition of racial discrimination, irrespective of territories, was an imperative norm of international law. See CERD/C/SR.1250, 9 March 1998
In 2000 the UN Commission on Human Rights reported “widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the Israeli occupying Power, in particular mass killings and collective punishments, such as demolition of houses and closure of the Palestinian territories, measures which constitute war crimes, flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity.” See E/CN.4/RES/S-5/1, 19 October 2000
The Commission was replaced by the Human Rights Committee which monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and its optional protocols. It also holds a mandate from the General Assembly to report on violations of international law under the auspices of General Assembly resolution 60/251, 15 March 2006. The Committee formulated its mandate on the basis of very strong prima facie evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Secretary General’s report cannot exonerate Israel or summarily dismiss the evidence contained in all of the other existing reports. Whenever a “genuine dispute” exists concerning the “material facts” in a criminal case, the matter can only be decided by a trier of facts and law in a proper court proceeding.
It is not without relevance that Judge Goldstone had previous experience as a prosecutor in international criminal tribunals. He found strong corroborating evidence that both sides had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, and that Israel had used the blockade and other measures to deprive the people of Gaza their own means of subsistence.
High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, served as a Judge in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court. She found strong corroborating evidence that both sides had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity and that the blockade was being utilized as a form of collective punishment of the civilian population in violation of international law. See A/HRC/12/37, 10 August 2009
Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, a retired judge of the International Criminal Court, found strong evidence that the attack on the aid flotilla and the blockade were both illegal.