Home > Freegaza, Mattias Gardell, Sweden > Testimonies from Passengers begin to come in

Testimonies from Passengers begin to come in

Written by Free Gaza Team | 03 June 2010

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In an interview with Sweden’s largest news bureau TT, Mattias Gardell, professor of religion and spokesperson for Shiptogaza.se, said the Israelis shot live from the air, gave wounded no treatment. He said activists threw away Isreali weapons, and he fears activists drowned:

“- The Israelis committed premeditated murder. There were rangers with laser sights. Two people were killed by shots in the forehead, one was shot in the back of the head and one in the chest. Several of those killed were journalists. I saw one of the bodies and heard many corroborative testimonies

, says Mattias Gardell on the phone from Istanbul.

– First came the special forces of silent boats. Then the defenders of our boat used fire hoses and made it impossible for the Israelis to come on board. Some soldiers were captured. An Uzi and a pistol were seized, emptied of ammunition and were thrown into the sea. We would by all means show that there was a peaceful campaign and that we did not have weapons, said Gardell.

– Then came the paratroopers in four helicopters and they shot sharply already from the time they were in the air, he says.

Gardell says that the attack was launched at exactly 04:10 local time on Monday and that 14 military vessels circled around Mavi Marmara.

– There were three large frigates, four ironclads and a host of small quiet boats for boarding. There was even a small submarine.

– I think the explanation for this massive assault on an unarmed convoy is that Israel wanted to practise pre-emptive strikes at sea, said Gardell.

The death toll could rise, he fears.

– Many were severely injured by the attack and were treated in such a way that the damage was aggravated. They were tied on deck, some had hoods over their heads in the worst Guantanamo style. Some were bleeding and one was shot in the back but got no help, he says.

“And there are people who are missing, and it worries me a lot. People were thrown, and threw themselves, into the sea in the attack”

According to Gardell, there is no doubt that the Israelis were aware that the convoy was peaceful and unarmed. The vessels were inspected in accordance with all applicable rules for passengers and cargo before they left Greece and Turkey.

“Everything was filmed. The Turkish aid organization IHH wanted to show that everything really went right. And I really want to emphasize that it completely was a peaceful, humanitarian intervention, which consisted of generators, prefabricated houses and schools, tröskmaskiner and more,” he says.

After they are landed, the activists were placed in collection camps with prison discipline.

– We had to constantly remind the Israelis that we were not prisoners. We were accused of illegal entry into Israel, although we have been kidnapped out of international waters, said Gardell

– Now we are tired. We mourn the dead and think of their relatives. We are dirty and have not been sleeping. We have no other clothes. The Israelis cut our clothes apart and smashed cameras and computers, says Mattias Gardell.”

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