Under darkness of night, Israeli commandos from at least 14 warships and military helicopters boarded the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began shooting. According to live video from the ship, at least two civilians have been murdered, and dozens injured. Israeli television is reporting 16 civilians killed.
The Mavi Marmara was part of a six-ship unarmed flotilla, including a US-flagged vessel, carrying 700 passengers from 40 different countries and 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza.
The last GPS signal from the flotilla, sent just prior to the attack, placed the ships at latitude: 32.64113, longitude: 33.56727 — approximately 65 miles off the coast of Netanya, well in international waters.
Palestinian fishermen are regularly fired upon off the coast of Gaza, but these are the first Israeli murders of internationals at sea. In recent years, the Israeli military has adopted increasingly vicious policies toward international human rights workers in Palestine, murdering Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall in 2003.
The names of the dead are not yet known. The flotilla passengers included retired US diplomats Amb. Edward Peck and Col. Ann Wright as well as humanitarian aid and human rights workers, several Members of Parliament from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, Malaysia, and Palestinian Members of the Knesset.
Numbers for Israeli officials:
- Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s office: +972 2670 5354 +972 2670 5354 +972 5 0620 3264
- Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defense: +972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
- Major Liebovitz from the Israeli navy: + 972 5 781 86248
- The Israeli Ministry of Defense, Fax: 972-3-697-6717
- The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fax: 972-2- 5303367
- List of Israeli embassies in other countries
Organize a demonstration at an Israeli embassy
Register your demonstration or find a planned action in your area at the Gaza Freedom March
Numbers for United States officials:
- White House: 1.202.456.1111
- Department of State: 1.202.647.4000
Call or send a letter to your Congressional representative with this sample letter:
Dear YOUR REPRESENTATIVE,
In one of the most outrageous attacks on civilized people, the Israeli military killed at least three people and injured at least 30 more in an unprovoked assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters. The ships presented no threat as they were filled with diplomats, academics, journalists and human rights workers hoping to bring humanitarian goods to the besieged Gaza Strip.
I call on you to hold Israel accountable for their despicable actions and to immediately dispel your Israeli ambassador until a thorough investigation can be undertaken by a credible third party.
Contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Please contact your foreign ministries, embassies and representatives.